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Everything posted by Tess

  1. I think fleur de sel is a lot moister. It's good layered with butter to spread on stuff. In case the OP is actually interested in sea salt more generally, I do join in the recommendation of Maldon. If I could keep only one finishing salt, it would be that. I am also a big fan of pink Hawaiian salt-- not the red, not the black but the traditional "alaea" salt sold all over Hawaii.
  2. I love Maldon but it's not fleur de sel, is it? My house fds is an inexpensive Portuguese alternative called "salt cream" or something which I get from The Spice House. It is clearly not on a par with the French stuff though. I think the one I like best has "Fleur de Sel de Camargue" on the label but it may have another brand name too.
  3. I agree; that was gross. On the Bravo site, there is a video with Sam where he comments that the contestants had been up for 25 hours by the time the judging was over. Might have contributed to some of the odd behavior. I am very tired of the way they keep stacking the deck through a combination of immunity and team challenges. One or the other would be fine, I think, but the combination is a real double whammy and they do so often-- not to mention the way the Thanksgiving challenge was loaded. I'm a fan of Cliff and would have been sad to see him leave, but (on admittedly interrupted viewing) I got the impression he played a big role in losing this one and it annoyed me to see the entire onus falling on Elia.
  4. That's what I thought when I saw the cooking facilities, but then it yielded pretty interesting results. Elia didn't win by default this time. And, it was hardly about the personal drama at all. Of course Betty made this big deal about giving Michael the eggs but it was still nice. There was not a lot of gossip and there was more cooking shown than usual I think. I wish I knew what Marcel's watermelon dish tasted like, to win over those two pretty good looking fish dishes. Good riddance to Frank. I just wish he had left for threatening Marcel.
  5. Tonight's episode looks new.
  6. This discussion is reminding me of what a huge expense weddings were for me all through my 20s. I have something like 30 first cousins, and then all my friends starting getting married. Travel, hotels and gifts would eat up my whole budget for a month. It was very out of proportion to the way most of us were living day to day, and what the wedding was costing was definitely a nice down payment on a house in many cases. But it seemed like an inflexible expectation.
  7. I eat beans more in the summertime possibly-- cooked, chilled and on salads or antipasto plates. In the winter/for holidays I make a layered salad with cooked white beans, pomegranate kernels and toasted walnuts or pecans (in that order) on a bed of greens, hopefully including some dark ones. The bean to pomegranate ratio depends on what I have. Some kind of vinaigrette poured over right before serving, or served on the side. You could put dressing on the beans beforehand too, but the marinated bean reminds me too much of three-bean salads in school cafeterias. Many of us have some unfortunate bean memories I suspect.
  8. I was just looking at Harolds' and Lee Anne's blog on the bravo site. Their comments are interesting to me because they've been there. One thing Harold points out is that you get very tired and fed up by that stage of the filming. I've always figured you have to have incredible stamina to cook in a restaurant anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem, but maybe it's a factor. Something happens to these shows after the first season, also. I'm looking at Michael and thinking he's decided to be the new Dave. Maybe Bad Betty is even thinking the same. "I'll keep declaring that I'm mediocre and they'll set the bar lower for me." I have a feeling the producers are trying to fiddle around with stuff so that cooks like those two will not skate to the finals any more-- that's why the mass immunity, for example.
  9. I liked him a lot better this week. At least he tried to back up some of that talk about molecular blah blah and do something different. I thought the way Frank went off on him was horrible. He had immunity, and this poor guy was sweating it out. And he's actually threatening him with violence? If you did that on MTV's Real World, you'd be kicked off.
  10. Since you came in at the end, you didn't see Emma blow away the competition with the first dish. She probably had close to, if not the, highest score for that dish in the entire competition so far. It really looked fantastic.
  11. We thought you were just great! Your dishes looked amazing. I am completely hooked on this show and have seen every episode. This is what Top Chef *should* be like. The judges are wonderful. Very nice job!
  12. Congratulations-- I hope you are very pleased! You did a great job.
  13. Tess

    John Cope's Dried Corn

    I have a lot of this stuff. Tonight I am using it in a "creamless creamed corn" recipe. It is soaking in chicken stock and will be simmered in that with some shallots and stuff; there are no additional sweet ingredients. We'll see how it goes. I'm also thinking, because of the sweetness, maybe indian pudding-- the New England kind with molasses. I have a simple (eggless) recipe calling for a quart of milk and 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal. Anyone have any idea how much Cope's I should substitute for that amount of cornmeal?
  14. One of our local restaurants serves tuna wrapped in prosciutto, grilled and served with a sauce. I don't order it because I like tuna prepared simply but I might try it at home if I had frozen tuna to use up.
  15. Maybe, but I think they have too many team challenges on the elimination rounds as it is, and this time Josie got hit with a double whammy because they had decided two people were going. I thought that was sort of jacked up.
  16. Tess

    Season Shot

    Nope! I think it's a terrible idea. When I used to cook a lot of wild game birds, not only was the taste generally too good for me to even think about seasoning the meat heavily and/or through and through, but it varied a lot, depending on what the birds had been eating. No way would I want to use a commercial preparation.
  17. Wasn't the one who said that diabetic himself though? Not that he's necessarily right, but that may be his lifelong approach to his dietary needs. Some people argue that having "diet" versions of fattening foods is counterproductive. This challenge is another one that left me feeling like something must have been left out, because things don't make sense to me. Some of the teams' preparations the night before left them 50 calories or more under per serving; why couldn't they have asked if they could increase their ingredients by that amount? Seems kind of silly to have a test cookoff and then not be able to tweak recipes. I felt like Betty should have gone home from what I could see, but I am guessing the reason she didn't is that there is more to the story. Anyway, I am getting very tired of the way this show is all about interpersonal drama and ****ups. Project Runway has gotten more and more that way too and I wonder why they feel they have to do that.
  18. She said they worked together to open L'Atelier.
  19. Me too, but I bet TGI wouldn't touch it because it has too many different fresh ingredients to duplicate faithfully.
  20. I still like Betty, but when she was having trouble with the grill all I could think was, "Payback's a bitch." It seemed like the challenges were hard in meaningless ways, like the surprise about the audience being kids (if it was a surprise; I suspect the editing on this show of being beliberately confusing) and having to complete the cooking in the firehouse. I wonder how Emily oversalted her stuff that much.
  21. If it was Lee Anne doing that calendar, I'd be all over it.
  22. Oh, but you should heat them! I sprinkle Kavli crispbreads-- the very thin ones-- with seasoning mixes from the Spice House and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds. I don't use the fake butter but the seasoning mixes seem to have some kind of cheese base. Takes me back to the days when my mother used to butter Ry Krisp and run them under the boiler.
  23. If I seriously thought a calorie restricted diet would help me live longer *and feel better,* I might give it a shot. They would have to show me real scientific proof though. I agree, as it is it sounds a lot like anorexia.
  24. I caught the show for the first time last night and it's fun. Some real personalities at the judges' table, and a great variety of challenges. Good luck, Luckylies!
  25. So the season isn't completely filmed yet? I would have imagined that everything excep maybe the last episode was in the can. ← There is quite time lag between filming the other episodes and filming the finale. I think they said it was 4 months last time. I agree with whoever said it's hard to get into the show with so many people on it; you can hardly keep track. I think several of the competitors are quite likeable though. Betty is adorable even though she looks like Suzanne Somers. She was so gracious accepting her prize, and she has so much energy. I would honestly go to her restaurant if it were nearby, just to see it.
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