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Everything posted by elion_84

  1. elion_84

    Beet salad

    Definitely roast wrapped in foil. If they are small you can do 4 to a bunch. Let cool some, then rub with paper towels to peel.
  2. There's a vendor at the Sunset Valley farmers market who sometimes has duck eggs. He's usually on the middle of the sourth (stadium) side of the market. I've only bought them in the spring. I doubt he has any now because of the heat.
  3. elion_84

    Deviled Eggs

    Mix sauteed liver with egg yolks and some mayo. Stuff the whites and top each half with a dallop of mayo.
  4. There was an article in Food&Wine a couple of issues back on this subject. One thing I remember is that you can generally pick a sparkling wine if the dish works well with beer.
  5. From our latke party last Monday. We made several different kinds of latkes: - Plain potato, some where topped with crem fraiche and caviar - Plain potato grated very fine - Sweet potato, topped with wasaby cream, caviar, and arugula micro-greens - Potato and celery root, topped with marinated beet and cabage slaw and duck confit - Zucchini and carrot, topped with sour cream, pepper jelly (Austin Slowburn Habanero and Rosemary, really good stuff), and smoked trout - Cheese latkes, with pear-ginger sauce We also had the requisite sour cream, apple sauce, as well as, pomegranate mollases spiced apple sauce.
  6. Warm crab dip Curried pumpkin soup slkinsey's Turkey two ways Cranberry-orange bread Cornbread, suasage, and chestnut dressing Fennel-roasted vegetables (potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, onions, fennel) Twice-baked sweet potatoes Cranberry-apple chutney Cranberry sauce with persimmons Apple pie with home-made vanilla ice cream Sweet potato pie Spiced pumpkin pie with port poached cranberries
  7. Electric kettle rocks! I have the Krups model and it's much faster than regular stove top kettle on 9kBTU burner. The electric kettle doesn't heat up the surrounding space, just the water. It seems to have much less scale build up issues than the stove top kind - and we have very hard water with lots of lime here.
  8. I think Austin has some of the best food at the airport. It's all run by local restaurants. It's not nearly as good as the original places, but beats your run of the mill airport joints.
  9. elion_84

    Rabbit newbie

    Last time I served braised rabbit as part of multi-course meal I used one rabbit for 4 people. In the end, 2 got hind legs, and 2 got saddle and front leg pieces. I think everyone was happy with their portions.
  10. What a great thread - it's giving me some ideas of what to try (or skip) on my next trip back to NYC. First, I'm curious about your process - do you bring a camera with you? take notes on each course? Have you had problems taking pics of the food? Second, I have to agree on the GT rating. I think your 8/10 reflects how well it meets or exceeds expectations. In my opinion, it's what American 4 star restaurant should be like. We're all in agreement that rating goes beyond the food. GT provides warm, inviting, friendly service. US has a more casual cutlure than Europe, and GT service reflects that. Rather than striving for an external ideal of 4* dining experience, we should be defining our own standard that's reflects life in the US. I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews.
  11. I've seen a number of tip-related discussions on eGullet and I'm of the opinion that people who get income form tips prefer the system as it is. If they went to a fixed service charge or higher price to the patron, and a fixed salary to the waiter, they'd make less money. So they prefer the unpredictable nature of tipping, but continue to complain to get everyone to tip more. In reality this is not that different from other occupations. Sales people at my company get base + commissions, with bulk of their compensation coming from the latter. From customer perspective there are not many remedies for mediocre service. Complaining to the manager takes effort and would be considered a confrontational situation by most people. There's a reasonably high barrier to overcome before I would consider talking to the manager. Docking the tip makes the customer feel better. Maybe if you're a regular, and the waiters know that you usually leave 20%, then leaving less may send a message. I doubt that waiters stop to think why someone left small tip - they assume you're a bad tipper. Edited for spelling
  12. Is this a conscious act or something that just happens? I used to hate seafood. Over the past 8 years I've gone from almost never eating it to having some kind of seafood at least once a week. I don't think it was a specific descision to eat more fish, more of "I can make this or that dish" and it kind of built on its own.
  13. I was also inspired by the ice cream recipie and made it last night, despite cool weather. (Ok so it's in 40's - but it's Texas ) I didn't have any thyme honey - just regular local honey. Also it was too rainy and generally unpleasant to go outside for some herbs, so I ended up with Fig-Port Honey Ice Cream. I used the same basic method as misstenacity, however, I actually simmered the chopped figs in some port and added a bit of vanilla extract. I really like the combination of fig and vanilla flavors. Like other posters I had a problem with sweetness. I made 2x the recipe, but only added 1/4c sugar and it was still too sweet for my taste. I think the dried figs are quite sweet (I used 6 dried mission figs for 2c half and half). The ice cream turned out really well, despite being too sweet. I'm sure I'll be making it again.
  14. We have completely switched over to CM European Style Butter. It's much much better than land-o-lakes we used to get. Also, last time we got their CM Organic Milk because it seems to have longer expiration.
  15. elion_84

    When you braise

    The usual suspects - short ribs, lamb shanks or shoulder, duck legs. Also, I love braised fish. I use braised monkfish recipe from The Craft of Cooking a lot.
  16. What's the difference btween Tea and Chai? Is Chai just a special preparation of tea? I couldn't find a definitive answer. What makes it even more confusing for me is that in Russian, the word "chai" means tea.
  17. I wanted to report back on my experience. We ended up going to both Aquarelle and Wink. We didn't order the tasting menu at Aquarelle because it sounded lame - salad, goat chees in puff pastry, salmon, beef, desert. It didn't strike me as very imaginative. Instead we got two appetizers, entrees, and desert: For appetizers we got seared foie gras with poached pears and blueberries. It was the best dish of the envening for me. The second appetizer was the goat cheese that also appears on the tasting menu. It was ok, nothing special. For the entree my wife got the stripped bass with eggplant caiviar. Once agian, it was ok. The eggplant was a little bitter and the fish wasn't crispy like I expected. I got rabbit rouelle with turnips and fried gnocchi. This dish was very disappointing. The rabbit was very dry, the turnips bitter, and fried gnocchi rather tough. Finally, for desert my wife had Hot Chocolate Souffle Cake, which she really liked because she loves chocolate. I ordered the poached pear in pastry. It was aweful - touch and tasteless. I really wish I had sent it back. The service was obsequitous but generally clueless. Overall, it was very disappointing. I can't believe that they are rated #2 restaurant in Austin. The trip to Wink was much better. We ordered the 7 course tasting menu. In retrospect, it was a bit too much. A log of their dishes follow the same formula: protein, greens, and mushrooms. However, all the dishes except for beef where really good. I highly recommend the sweetbreads. They had great flavor and nice contrast of textures with crispy outside and soft interior. We had a much better time at Wink, and will probably go back if we get a chance. I think the state of high end food in Austin is rather depressing. It doesn't come even close to 3-star places in NYC. At least, we have good tex-mex and BBQ.
  18. My wife and I went there for dinner and for lunch and thought it was pretty good. Especially for Austin, where there aren't that many good italian places. My wife really liked her food both times we went. I wasn't a huge fan of the mushroom ravioli that I had for lunch - I think mine are better I would particularly recommend calamari - either the appetizer with polenta or the entree. The owner is a very colorful and friendly guy from Italy. He'll loves to come by and talk to the customers. It's an experience in itself.
  19. elion_84

    Confit Duck

    How do you store the finished product? On the bone or off? What about the skin?
  20. What restaurants in Austin offer tasting menus? When we were in NYC in June we had the tasting menu at Gramercy Tavern and it was an awesome experience. I would like to try something like that here. I think Driskill Grill may have something like that. What about other places? Any recommendations or reviews?
  21. elion_84

    How to defat?

    Thanks for the creative suggestions. I will give this a try,
  22. elion_84

    Garbanzo Beans

    In the summer I like to make a salad that I picked up in Michael Chiarello book: garbanzo beans, finely chopped celery, onions, garlic, parsley, and some hot pepper flakes. Dressed with simple olive oil and white wine vinegar dressing. It's become a staple at our cookouts. I've also made a Chicken and Chickpea Tagine recipe that appeared in NY Times a while ago that included vanilla along with more traditional North African spices. It was an interesting flavor combination that I've made as a side dish several times omitting the chicken.
  23. elion_84

    How to defat?

    I've been doing a lot of braising recently. A lot of the cuts of meat that work well braised render a lot of fat. I've been struggling with defating the braising liquid, especially when doing duck or short ribs. The only method that works consistently is leaving the pan in the fridge overnight and then scraping the congealed fat. I've tried using a fat separator, but it seems like there's still a bunch of fat left, and I'm throwing away a lot of the braising liquid. What methods do you use?
  24. For about $100 you can get a pasta roller attachment for the KitchenAid. It works as well as Atlas and solves the extra hand problem.
  25. Presentation? I don't understand see what huge size portions have to do with presentation. Plenty of restaurants serve beautifully styled food in small portions. I think some restaurants try to compensate for poor quality of food with larget quantity. In many cases I'd be willing to pay 75% of the price for 1/2 the portion, but I suspect that this would lower the margin on the dish.
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