Jump to content

Exotic Mushroom

participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  1. Mark - Thanks for the tips. I'll probably end up picking up a Mary's bird from The Woodlands Market. That should suffice on such short notice. I have been to the HEB Woodlands Market in the past, but for whatever reason, I always forget about it. I guess since it wasn't around way back when I lived there. I lived in Austin briefly, near the original Central Market, and I agree, the Woodlands Market is no comparison. On the other hand, it sure beats Kroger in terms of selection, so it is a nice resource to have.
  2. I'm going to be in Houston for Thanksgiving and would like to purchase an heirloom turkey to cook. I know it is kind of last minute, but my plans recently changed. I don't want to end up with a Butterball from Randall's. Heirloom birds are my first choice, but otherwise I would love a recommendation of where I can get a high quality bird in general. The people I'm visiting live in The Woodlands, so north Houston recs are better, but I am willing to drive into town if necessary.
  3. Hey, not so fast. I cook at a one star restaurant on this list (one that many perhaps expected to get more), and I've got to tell you, the only pots being thrown today are out of joy. There's going to be a lot of champagne flowing tonight. You've got to remember that a Michelin star is a fantasy for most any restaurant - a single star is a pretty fucking enormous compliment.
  4. I've only big to Aqua once, but my meal was excellent. I've eaten at Farralon twice. The first time I thought the food was fine, although the service was abysmal. Not in the same league as Aqua, though. The second time, both the food and the service were terrible. My carrot soup had so much cream in it that I simply couldn't eat it without wanting to gag. Go to Aqua. You'll enjoy it.
  5. Sarah - I've used agar agar in some things. It works fine, but I don't like using it as much because it does have some flavor. Normal gelatin just does its job and doesn't have any affect on taste. So I don't really use agar agar that often. I had never even heard of kosher gelatin! My bf just always said gelatin was a no go. I am absolutely going to seek some out now. Of course, it will mean a big argument about how I don't know anything about kosher, but if I can show him the seal on the box he'll have to accept it! You can't imagine how excited I am about this!
  6. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Busboy - I think your suggestion of just padding the dinner with extra course is good one. I guess it doesn't matter particularly if the main course is kind of scant as long as nobody leaves hungry. I know what you mean about vegetarians being used to eating lame food. I feel so bad for them when I look at restaurant menus and see the ever-present and awful sounding "roasted vegetable tower" that's obviously just tacked on because nobody wanted to think of a good vegetarian entree. I don't eat pasta, so that complicates the situation. Although I think this guy eats pasta of some sort basically every night, so I think he'll enjoy something different. Munchymom - The tart is basically roasted tomato halves, thyme, roasted garlic, carmelized onions, and a pastry crust. No eggs or cheese, although there is some egg in my soup and I was planning on putting cheese out for when guests arrive. I think some sort of bean salad is a good idea. Either a medly like you suggested or something with chickpeas. Dessert is going to be blackberry shortcakes. I wasn't too worried about making those vegetarian. My other half keeps kosher, so I haven't been able to use gelatin in anything at home for about five years. (You'd think I'd get used it, but no. I miss it very much.)
  7. Sarah - Yes, this person does eat cheese. The salad I was thinking of involved goat cheese, arugula, peppercress, roasted red peppers, and crispy shallots with a basic dejion-balsamic dressing. I like the idea of a cucumber salad, though. Thanks for the links, snowangel. I'm pretty committed to my roasted tomato tarts as the main feature of the main course, and now I'm trying to figure out what to pair it with. On the ECI link there was a tomato and zucchini tart with served with chickpeas and a salad. I like the idea of using chickpeas as a side. I was thinking I would like to use beans, but that the tarts wouldn't pair well with them. But I was thinking about black beans or lentils, which are what I usually make. Chickpeas might have potential. So, definitely the tomato tarts and a salad. Maybe chickpeas as well? Does anyone else have any other ideas for something that might complement the tarts plus salad? If I'm serving a salad on top of the tarts does that mean I should not serve yet another vegetable?
  8. So here's my situation - I have (for the first time ever) a vegetarian coming to my home for a dinner party tomorrow. I am at a complete and utter loss as to what to serve. Here's my menu so far: Starter: Roasted Garlic Soup with Avocado and Cherry Tomatoes Main Course: Roasted Tomato Tart(s)? with a salad ? I'm fairly pleased with the roasted tomato tarts and have made them before to serve as an accompaniment to meat or fish dishes. They taste good and are fairly hearty, but I don't think they are substantial enough to be the whole main course on their own. I cook them in 4 ounce ramekins if that gives you an idea of the size. I was thinking of serving two to a plate, but that still seems insufficient. I would be happy to serve one of the tarts per person with some sort of vegetable accompaniment, but I don't know what to serve. The main dish of the plate is already vegetable based, so I would feel kind of silly just putting some green beans next to it. Or is that not silly? The tarts have a crust, so I don't know how I feel about serving a starch on top of that. I have a pretty steep reputation to uphold, and I have purposely avoided having this person to dinner in the past because I didn't know what to do about him not eating meat or fish. I don't eat pasta, so I can't serve that. What should I do? Just stick two tomato tarts on a plate? Serve everyone one tart plus another vegetable and/or starch? Anyone with any good ideas for non-pasta vegetarian food please help!
  9. Laurent left almost six months ago and Belinda left about 9 months ago. They have both been replaced with extremely talented people. I'd be interested to see if any of the people criticizing Melissa's skills have eaten at the Fifth Floor since she took over. Her food is very different than Laurent's, but I think it is every bit as fabulous. I have nothing bad to say about the meal I had there in January. I wasn't particularly a fan of her at Charles Nob Hill, but her new menu is quite spectacular. I don't really think her age is much of an issue. The woman has an encyclopedic knowledge of food and cooking techniques, and is far more skilled and creative than many chefs I have known twice her age.
  10. I've heard people say this fairly often, but I have to say, it has never been my experience. Here in the Bay Area anyway, all the top kitchens are basically full of CIA trained white boys with very few exceptions. And as a woman trying to make it in them, I have to say that females are basically always at a disadvantage for a job versus males, no matter how capable they are. Even though it is not my background, chefs are always trying to shuffle me over to pastry. And I don't know exactly what pay is in NY, but I work at one of the top restaurants in SF and we all make $10/hr. Given cost of living around here, that makes it damn hard to live. Why do I do it? Partly for the learning experience, but mostly because I just can't stand to make mediocre food. I love what I do, and I know I could earn twice as much (to start) if I went to work at some big union hotel. I just don't want to. But a living wage would be really, really nice. Oh, and to break in I had to work 12 hour days for free for several months. This industry treats it's workers like ass.
  11. I was pretty skeptical when I saw the headline, and after reading the article, I was just confused. Their selection criteria seemed bizarre - only 5 of the 10 best selling brands? Several vodkas not widely available in bars, but no Chopin? And the top ten list was heavily weighted with mixing vodkas - Smirnoff, Absolut, and (gasp!) Skyy all made the list. These are basically the three most characterless vodkas on the market. If use in mixed drinks was their criteria, I could see that, but solo? It just doesn't make any sense to me. They taste like nothing. For my part, I'm a Ketel rocks girl, or Chopin if I'm feeling fancy.
  12. I don't really think that culinary textbooks would be very useful for a home cook trying to learn. For starters, the recipe quantities are simply too large. I know they can be scaled down, but I think that a beginning is best served using a book with quantities they can use. More importantly, culinary textbooks place emphasis on different skills than a home cook needs. If you tried to learn from a culinary textbook by reading from the beginning, you would only be making stocks and sauces for weeks before you created a single dinner. These are an important foundation for professionals, but I think of these as advanced skills for a home cook. The most important thing for a home cook who is just learning is to start with simple complete meals. Something like baked chicken with rice and broccoli.
  13. The owners are Brazilian, and have insisted on the aforementioned Brazilian dishes. However, the chef, Nic Leone, is firmly in the Northern Italian tradition. This is the idea.
  14. Try Mangarosa in North Beach. It's excellent.
  15. I make tomato water every day at work and this is how we do it. Adjust, of course, for however much you want to make. 15 tomatoes, cored and cut into eights 8 lemons squeeze all the juice out of the lemons (this gives you usually around a pint) puree tomatoes in a blender, then let the puree strain through a chinois. Add the lemon juice to the mixture, also strained through the chinois, and then take the liquid you have left and put it all in a large saute pan. Add a healthy amount of salt. Heat the liquid while swirling the pan a little until the liquid is hot to the touch and there is a foamy little layer on top. Soon enough, as you swirl, it will start to look like a sauce thats about to break. Then you immediately take it off the heat and pour into a chinois lined with two coffee filters. Put it somewhere out of the way and let it all drip through slowly at room temperature. This take a couple hours. Then you have perfect tomato water. Yummy!
  • Create New...