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Everything posted by markf424

  1. Basil - I've been making gallon jugs of pesto. Well, maybe not gallons. Regardless, it's the quickest way I know to prune my plant back into reality without throwing away a bushel of basil leaves. Also cherry tomatoes - just made linguini with clams tonight and I always put halved cherry tomatoes in that dish. Delicious!
  2. Ella's is closed. Ranch 616 is still open. Another addition might be Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, which took over Emilia's old location (and awesome wine cellar). However, I haven't been and therefore don't know how they stocked the cellar. Perhaps someone else can chime in here.
  3. No way. 55.32365362 rotation is the only way to go on the presentation side. I finish by dividing the circumference of the steak by pi squared to determine the non-presentation side grill marks.
  4. Along these same lines - the "disposable" ziploc and glad containers. I'll reuse them numerous times, but when I finally reheat some tomato sauce in them and they get that ring, well - I can just toss 'em. Likewise if I want to give a dinner guest some leftovers - they don't have to return one of my better containers.
  5. markf424

    Dinner! 2004

    Grilled garlic lamb chops, onion confit, grilled asparagus, duck-fat fried potatoes. Inexpensive 2001 Sant'Agata "Baby Barb" Barbera d'Asti - good stuff, especially for the price ($12). I'm going to grab a case of this to have on hand regularly.
  6. Place the bowl so the steam is hitting it and the bowl itself isn't in the boiling water. It'll keep you from scalding your delicate chocolate.
  7. No, it's just good "fake" balsamic. It's not the Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, which is easy to identify by its signature bottle shape: You can buy some from Amazon.com - I'd link it but I'm unsure how to make sure eGullet gets their props. It runs close to $100/bottle for a small bottle that size.
  8. markf424

    Dinner! 2004

    I feel the need to mention that everything posted on this thread absolutely rocks, but for some reason, this one hit home. That looks incredible, sounds incredible, and (almost) tastes incredible. Thanks for sharing. I did seared duck breasts with a pear and calvados reduction atop wilted dandelion greens. I was pleased with the doneness but not terribly happy with the overall result. Ah, well. To the stove again I go.
  9. yeah, but who can afford or find it! Two questions, man. Affording is one thing, but finding is easy. I have two bottles of the good stuff at home. Now, granted, I'm too cheap to use them 99% of the time, but I've got 'em!
  10. markf424

    Dinner! 2004

    Looks delicious... I've added it to my list of eG Dinner Ideas. Is that a toasted English muffin? in the interest of not wanting people to think that i'd use an english muffin as a bun: Does your jaw unhook like a pair of channel locks??!
  11. Well, I think the lack of responses in the last five days shows how thorough this course was. I just wanted to say thanks to Janet, it was extremely informative and interesting. I haven't done any of the experiments yet, but it would be interesting to try tasting things isolated in that way and really dissect my tastes. Thanks again, it was very well written.
  12. While I'm by no means an expert, having just done this once myself, mine rose well and didn't spread out like you mentioned. I wonder if melting the butter into the milk didn't allow the fat in the butter to coat the dry particles in the dry mix and thereby created a problem. I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that you didn't stir the butter in first, and then follow with the milk since that's the only place you diverged from the recipe.
  13. Awesome. I'll be sure to try this next time. I was about to dump a pile of river rocks on top of the damned thing.
  14. OK, I'm back with another one that arose today. When I'm making chicken stock, the general rule is to add water to cover any parts that might be sticking out. Well, a chicken (without air in the cavity) will still float somewhat. I always have a little part that's sticking up above the water level. Is this normal? I typically flip them about halfway through just to make sure I'm getting all of the flavor out the bird/parts.
  15. markf424

    Dandelion Greens

    chardgirl, those look beautiful. I just picked up a bunch tonight. Anyone have other suggestions on preparation? I've had them as part of a mixed green salad with sweeter vinaigrettes. I've got plenty so I'd love to hear of other ways to use them while they're fresh!
  16. OK, I've got one that will dwarf everyone else's questions in my stupidity: When do you know cheese is bad (not including cheeses such as fresh feta, mozzarella, etc)? I've usually eaten it until mold forms. I've even cut mold off and continued to eat it if it tastes fine and isn't dried out. Is there something more exact than this? Am I feeding myself bad food without even knowing it?
  17. First, take a glass of cold water out to the grill to dip your finger in before you poke the meat. I do this because I am a wuss. Best way I ever heard this described was the 'face' method. Dip your finger into the water, then poke the steak. If it feels like the middle of your cheek, it's rare. If it feels like your chin (soft but with some bounce-back), it's medium. If it feels like the tip of your nose, it's well-done. I've heard the same thing about using your face for reference, but I've always used my earlobe to judge a rare steak - I find it works better since my cheek feels different every time I poke at it. I used the hand test when I started doing this, but now it's more experience than a comparison. The hand test tells you to touch the tips of your thumb and index finger together, without pressing, and press the pad at the base of your thumb with your other index finger. This is rare. As you move to the middle finger, you hit medium-rare, then medium, then medium-well. Well done just feels like a stone. I recommend getting used to using this method, even if you overcook a few steaks in the beginning, because it'll improve your product. I prefer it to a thermometer now.
  18. I made these yesterday morning, thanks to the thread and mamster. I was pretty pleased with the flavor, but I undercooked them a bit. They still had formed a crumb throughout but were a tad wet in the middle. Next time I'll add another minute or two to the waffle iron's suggestion. I was pleased enough that there definitely will be a next time. Thanks!
  19. More frequently than not, the old adage "you get what you pay for" is true. This is especially true if you can overlook highly marketed brands and look for genuine quality - a company or product that prides itself on craftsmanship as opposed to profitability alone. Numerous Italian products come to mind. One I'd challenge anyone to argue: Parmigiano-Reggiano vs. American Parmesan. I tend to buy the better items for my kitchen, from utensils and tools to ingredients, but I avoid paying a premium for marketing and name brand when possible.
  20. markf424


    I'm always pissed off. Good meal, bad meal, chipped knives or perfect ones. It's just my nature. Just kiddin'. I am angry if I mess up a cheap meal, out of respect for the ingredients. I also dislike failing at anything, so I'll rarely "walk away" from a meal.
  21. Don't forget Le Creuset and All-Clad at Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Stein Mart, etc. They're not garage sale prices, but they're more than 50% off of retail. You can also get some great deals on cookbooks and other kitchen gear. Year old, sometimes a dented handle, whatever. Mine look that way soon enough anyway.
  22. Cooking.com has the Rosle can opener as well, for $29.95: http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=185688 If you use coupon code C99894 and your VISA, you'll get 20% off of this price. I ordered it this morning.
  23. markf424

    Dinner! 2004

    Another quick meal tonight - but I still had time to snap a photo. Pan fried salmon filet atop penne with fresh pesto. Arugula salad with red wine vinaigrette. The meal was so-so. The pesto was good, but the meal felt uninspired. I was cooking for one tonight, which always takes the inspiration out of me. The close-up shot shows much nicer than the [more realistic looking] full plate shot. -edited to correct pasta type
  24. markf424

    Dinner! 2004

    A 30 minute meal tonight, after a pretty crappy day. Linguini with clams in white wine sauce with cherry tomatoes - the standard. Buckets of wine on the side.
  25. They have a menu online. I can't recall ever being disappointed in a dish there. Mirabelle
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