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prasantrin

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  1. prasantrin

    Capers

    I've recently discovered a love for capers. So far, I've only used them in a butter-lemon caper sauce (used once with salmon, and another time with chicken) and fig and olive tapenade. I've been browsing, and found a roasted cauliflower with capers recipe I could manage, and another for roasted potatoes with capers. I'm also going to try a halibut with capers, olives and tomatoes recipe. (All from Epicurious) But surely there must be some other tried and true recipes that eGulleters have tried and would like to share. Easy is best, because I'm a lazy cook, but I might be willing to go the extra mile for a very special recipe.
  2. prasantrin

    Toaster Ovens

    I think 6 lbs is the very top range, and it may even be pushing it. I've done 5lbs, though, and it was OK (barely).
  3. Exactly! Part of "negotiation of knowledge" is doing your own research so you can make an informed decision regarding what you accept as truth. And so that you can be prepared to back up your truth if you should be questioned. This should be applied to everything--not just controversial topics. I have an anecdote about that, but it's directly related to a topic forbidden on these boards (and to some degree, rightfully so), but if anyone wants to hear it, feel free to pm me while I'm still able to be pm-ed! Tangentially related, I think it was Alan Richman who commented on people like Yelpers who write about such-and-such food being the best ever. He said in order to make that claim, you really need to do your research. Try a lot of different such-and-such foods, and think carefully about what it is that you think makes it good. I think the exampe he used was croissants--flavour, flakiness, shape, etc. Research and come to your own conclusions. One of comments on Yelpers is that they don't do that. They all jump on the same bandwagon to tout the newest and "best" version of whatever without really understanding what makes something the "best" or why they think it's the "best".
  4. I knew of the Nestle boycott very vaguely, so I researched it to refresh my memory. It reminds me of the claims that canola oil is evil--people pick little bits of information which suit their purposes and blow them up, obscuring any truth or rational argument. People need to learn to negotiate knowledge rather than believe every little bit of "truth" they hear.
  5. Do you have your recipes up anywhere? While I know whatever I made wouldn't look nearly as delicious, I can hope that it would taste as delicious as that looks!
  6. For whatever reason, I can still post, so I may as well comment on yet another controversial topic. The president of Barilla guy is, at the very least, honest. I appreciate that. I don't agree with his beliefs, but at least he's not afraid to voice them. And now, because I know what his beliefs are, I can make an informed decision about whether or not those beliefs will influence my decision to buy the products his company produces. I appreciate that I have been given that choice. I would bet that there are execs at De Cecco (another Italian pasta company) that probably feel the same way the Barilla guy does. Probably a bunch of Italian olive oil company execs feel the same way. Actually, a whole lot of American company execs probably do, too. So does it make me a better person to boycott a company where the exec is forthright about his beliefs that I don't agree with, than to support companies where I have no idea what the execs believe? If you're going to be self-righteous enough to say, "I don't agree with you so I can't support your company," you should also be willing to say, "I don't know what you believe, so I can't support your company." You should only be purchasing products from companies you know fall in line with your way of thinking. Reminds me of the documentary Chocolate: The Bitter Truth. The guy making the documentary makes a bunch of chocolate bars and prints on the wrapper "made with child labour" and asks people on the street if they would be willing to buy it. Everyone replies with a resounding, "No," and when he points out that most chocolate is made with child labour but they eat it, anyway, one woman replies with something like, "Yes, but we don't know it," implying, "As long as I don't know, I don't care, and I'd rather not know so I won't have to care." (FWIW, the only company I have boycotted is The Body Shop.)
  7. prasantrin

    Dinner! 2013 (Part 4)

    I suspect part of the problem is lighting or camera settings. With a little tweak of the colours, the food would look a lot better. As it is, while I appreciate the effort that went into making those dishes, I don't really care to look at the pics because the colours are so off (and the dishes sometimes look like "a plate of poo" or however you put it). It helps no one to criticize photographs, whether poorly lit, colored, or whatever. Nor does it help to contribute snark and snide remarks while contributing nothing of actual worth. I suspect this is born out of both boredom and a bitter disposition. It is the simple act of sharing with others, whether plates of food that are thrown together in a hurry, or ones carefully executed over the course of a day, that matters, and should be encouraged. Everything else is irrelevant. "It helps no one to criticize photographs, whether poorly lit, colored, or whatever." Really? How does it not help? There's a difference between "snark and snide remarks" and consructive criticism. I remarked on the faulty lighting. Improving the colours of the photos would do wonders in making the food appear more palatable. I also remarked on the effort that went into creating the dish. I suppose you missed that part since it was embedded in all the snark and snide remarks I made?? Regardless, if you think this particular thread is simply one to "share" one's food with others, you are mistaken. People share without any expectation of anything in return. I've read this thread for years, and there are few if any who post in this thread who have absolutely no expectations from others.
  8. prasantrin

    Dinner! 2013 (Part 4)

    I suspect part of the problem is lighting or camera settings. With a little tweak of the colours, the food would look a lot better. As it is, while I appreciate the effort that went into making those dishes, I don't really care to look at the pics because the colours are so off (and the dishes sometimes look like "a plate of poo" or however you put it).
  9. Ah, calamansi. The one thing I never have trouble getting. Always have at least two or three trees full of fruit. Even when we lived in Alaska. Can't be without that. Want me to send you some? Thank you for the offer! While I'm pretty sure they could be imported to Canada (no citrus industry here, so not much worry about bugs and stuff that might destroy our non-existent citrus industry), it's so hot right now I'm not sure they'd survive the trip! I wonder if I can get a plant here. Our winters are so harsh, though, and I'm not sure it will be warm enough, even indoors.
  10. Anna N--have you used Filipino tomato sauce before? It's likely very sweet. Taste it a little before you use it in something like spaghetti sauce, because you may end up not liking it at all.
  11. What kind of ingredients do you have trouble getting? The only thing we really have trouble with is calamansi. We can get most other stuff, though in varying qualities.
  12. There's also Kulinarya which is more modern, but still offers traditional recipes. It's for the posh Filipino market. (Actually, pretty much all Filipino cookbooks not published for the western market (such as those mentioned by others) are for the more posh Filipino market. Regular Filipino folks can't afford to waste money on cookbooks, nor can they afford to buy most of the ingredients mentioned.) eta: I think my mother gave a copy of this book to Kerry--maybe she'll share it!
  13. Any of the cookbooks by Nora Daza or Violeta Noriega are pretty much standards (the newest of their books is probably about 20 years old, but the Daza ones are really quite old and have gone through many printings). They're not the best written recipes (or the best quality books in terms of paper and binding), but the end results are pretty much what Filipinos eat. IIRC they're written for a Filipino audience, so some of the ingredients they use are called by their Filipino names. But most should still be available in Canada. I think I have all all the books written by both, but I can't seem to find them. Probably in storage.
  14. Being half Thai, I love curry of almost any kind from almost anywhere. But I just realized that I hate what I call "white folk food" when it's been tainted with curry powder. By that I mean stuff like Coronation chicken salad. Or fried chicken that has curry powder added to the flour mixture. It's just all wrong. (I tend to dislike Chinese-style curries. I'm not sure why, but I don't find them as delicious as any other kind of curry)
  15. I hate oatmeal (cooked as porridge, though I love the flavour of oatmeal in things like oatmeal cookies). Technically, that could be considered "ethnic" to me (where in SEAsia do people grow oats?). But I eat it even though it sometimes makes me gag. I think there are two (three?) camps within food haters. In the first camp, there are people who hate certain foods probably because they have sensitivies (ex. undiagnosed allergies, etc.) to those foods or ingredients in them. They associate those foods (and/or ingredients) with those negative reactions and so they make blanket statements like "curry is disgusting" even though it's really "curry makes me feel disgusting" that they're feeling. Or they associate those foods with negative experiences, and for whatever reason, they cannot overcome those associations (oatmeal is like that for me, and chocolate cake used to be.). In the second camp, at least with regards to caucasians eating more "complex" Asian foods, there are two subgroups. Subgroup 1 probably grew up as plain eaters in plain eater families. Experimentation in food was likely not encouraged, or for whatever reason, their predilictions (and dislikes) were indulged and in their adulthood, they remain without rhyme or reason. Subgroup 2 may have had a similiar upbringing, but they developed into the types of people who were "risk takers" with regards to food. They approached the unknown or unfamiliar with open minds, and so developed palates that enjoyed, or at least appreciated, foods they used to despise (or thought they despised). That's what I've observed re: people with strong food preferences, anyway. And re: vinegar and sushi, gari is less "pickled" than western-type pickles--less of a vinegar flavour. But the primary flavouring in sushi rice is vinegar. So a person who claims to dislike vinegar so much it makes him gag, yet loves sushi ....
  16. Never mind. I was genuinely interested in what the common thread could be but you seem to prefer "it is because I said it is" snark over open discussion so I'll just move along. Never mind. I was genuinely interested in what the common thread could be but you seem to prefer "it is because I said it is" snark over open discussion so I'll just move along. Don't be a sorehead. I covered all the things I don't like about Indian food on the first page of this thread. I'll expand it for you: it tastes "muddy" to me. There are too many spices and it is saucy and messy to eat. And, frankly, it disagrees with me. Well, if "saucy and messy to eat" are characteristics that make a person dislike food, then I suppose American-Italian red-sauce-type food is out, too? Not arguing against a blanket dislike of "curries", even those you've never tried. Just trying to understand the reasoning. These threads are always fun. They tend to bring out the worst in everyone (and I mean everyone).
  17. Hi Nick, thanks for the heads up about the book! I assume it's in French? I hope you post about where you're working now. I'm hoping to make it to BKK sometime within the next year or so!
  18. What do you do with the mustard? Spread it on the puff pastry to mix it in with the sausage meat? When I make sausage rolls, I just use ground pork, minced shallots, and penzey's breakfast sausage seasoning. Sometimes I add cubes of cheese or if I'm feeling a little more healthful, asparagus or red pepper. But looking at your mise, I feel I might be missing something!
  19. prasantrin

    Paula Deen's Cook Tells Almost All

    Are you suggesting people should feel guilty about not supporting or enriching those whose behavior absolutely disgusts them? I don't know why anyone would. If she is down now, it is all her own doing. No. I am saying there is a double standard about what is "absolutely disgusting" and it is defined by who is saying it. Clearly, PD is not "one of us". You're right. I'm not racist, and I don't use people to get ahead, and then turn my backs on them. PD is definitely not one of "my kind".
  20. None of the forums seem appropriate, so I'm sticking this here. Just wondering if anyone knows of any scholarships / bursaries / etc. that are given to people who are interested in the culinary arts. This interest can be more direct (i.e. scholarships for chefs / pastry chefs) or indirect (i.e. food writing or academic study). I remember eG used to have some scholarships funded at least in part by membership dues, but I have not heard hide nor hair of them in the last several years. Guess they fell to the wayside?
  21. I think high-end places would not be too keen on sharing. Many of them have so few seats a night (and only two seatings) that to allow you to share with your daughter would be akin to giving up a seat altogether. Two for the price of one does not go over well, especially given that they don't make a huge profit on their food. I looked over my CH post from my visit to tokyo last year. I did mostly low to mid range places. In Marunouchi right near Tokyo Station (so not so far from Shinjuku), there's a fantastic fish place called Aoyuzu. 6th floor of Tokyo Marunouchi building http://www.marunouchi.com/e/shop/detail/1105_index (the english menu tab is not quite accurate, and there's more than one Aoyuzu, but this is the one I went to). I had the gindara hohoniku set (gindara cheeks) http://www.susinippan.co.jp/mces/index/00123 is their japanese website. I don't think they have an english website and I don't recall seeing an english menu (but i didn't ask, either), but I think at lunch they have samples in the window so you can just point. I do highly recommend the gindara hohoniku set, though. A lot of food, and excellently prepared. (you can read a little more about that meal here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/836988#7189666 ) (and it says, "Kids welcome"!) Another place I went to was Nakajima in shinjuku--it's a Michelin 1-star that has a very cheap Y800 (maybe a little more now) iwashi lunch set. http://www.sunnypages.jp/travel_guide/tokyo_restaurants/traditional_japanese/Nakajima/2687 I got a little lost looking for it, so if you go, print out a map or have the Japanese address. Maybe even take a taxi, so the taxi can suffer finding it. (it's not that hard, but a little hard if you're not familiar with the area or Japanese addresses). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/547379d is the chow topic where someone included pics of the restaurant (to make it easier to find!). I'm sure their dinners are lovely, but I don't know if they allow children. You might want to have your concierge ask. I don't spend much time in ginza or any of those other places you mentioned, so I can't really make recommendations for them. When I'm in Tokyo, I'm there to visit friends so we very often do non-Japanese food, and my Japanese food fix is limited to solo dining. Sorry! But I hope you enjoy your trip!
  22. One more thing--I assume your daughter is accustomed to using chopsticks? if not, I would recommend bringing some cutlery along with you (or pick up a cool set from Tokyu Hands). Some places might not have any available.
  23. I got mine at lawson's convenience store (the only way you can get them in Japan). http://www.lawson.co.jp/ghibli/museum/ticket/english.html for instructions. The machines are all in Japanese, but if the store isn't too busy, someone might be willing to help you out. Print out the page I linked above, and that will be helpful, anyway. Ghibli is closed on Tuesdays, which would leave you Wed or thurs. From what I can tell, they have space available on those days. If you have a friend in Japan, perhaps that person (or your concierge) could get the tickets. I think Sushi Dai in the market is not such a good idea primarily because of the waits. But another thing to remember about places like Sushi Dai and especially popular ramen shops--they expect quick turnovers. I eat really slowly, so I don't do well in places like those (when they're very busy/popular), and I eat about the speed of a young child. the last time I was in Japan I went to a famous ramen place and other seats turned over about 2.5 times during the time it took me to eat. If you're going to take her to a ramen shop, choose a less busy one even if it's "not as good." and maybe do one of the sushi places just outside Tsukiji proper. They're less busy and so will probably be more amenable to having children dining there. I think tempura kondo would be fine. As would most high-end hotel restaurants. Many of my former students were quite used to high-end dining (and how to behave in such places) because they had been dining at places like that since they were young. Your daughter would probably fit in quite well. For other places, you'll just have to wing it. I hear Ishikawa is really quite good--maybe you could ask your concierge if he would recommend it. And reservations can often be had with short-term notice there. the problem with places like that is that they are prix fixe, and it can be quite a lot of food for a young child (I'm not a young child, and it's a lot of food for me). But if she's used to long multi-course meals, then it should be ok. sorry, i looked at ishikawa's website. No children under 12. maybe stick to hotel restaurants if you want high-end food. I liked Michel Troigros, but you can get that in France. L'Atelier JR would be fine, too, but you can get that anywhere these days. if you're anywhere near Katsukura (there's on in Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku. Don't know about others), they do fine tonkatsu, plus you get to grind your own sesame seeds. That's always fun. Otherwise, just duck into places here and there. It's hard to go wrong.
  24. As in most of Asia, people are very accepting of children in most public places. NickLam recommended an izakaya--those are first and foremost drinking establishments (they always have food, but the focus is on drinking) where children are not as welcome, especially later in the evening. That's not to say an izakaya would not let your daughter dine there, but whether she should be there is another question. Studio Ghibli is out of the way. Not much in the area, iirc, in terms of food. You can have something at the cafe there, but something more like a snack. When i went there, I ended up at the McDonald's near the train station (because I wanted a fried apple pie). (If you don't already have them, make sure you make reservations for the Studio, plus investigate how to get there--which side of the train station the bus leaves from, etc. I think the bus is something like Y200. Or you could just take a taxi). Other restaurants that I remember near the train station were chain Italian places and the like. Not great food, but if you need something fast, it'll do fine.
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