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Everything posted by Betts

  1. Just an update- I made the peameal bacon and will post a pic when I do the next batch. It was unbelievably easy and tasty. I bought a 2# chunk of pork back loin and mixed Mortons Quick Cure and sugar 1:1 and using the 2TB cure/ pound as recommended - so 1/2 cup of the mix per chunk of pork. Rubbed it in, placed in ziplock bag, refrigerated and turned it over daily. 5 days later - soaked it for an hour in cold water, patted dry and rolled in ordinary cornmeal. Let this dry uncovered on a rack in the frig overnight. Sliced into 1/3" slices, fried in a little butter/oil and enjoyed for breakfast and for sandwiches. I did several batches as Christmas presents and even took some to a local chef who is into charcuterie. He loved it. This was way cheaper than going to Canada to get some, having it shipped ( now there is a racket!). Except for the purchase of an electric slicer I am way ahead on $$ and the homemade product tastes just the way it should.
  2. Its college reunion time and it's been a long time since I lived in the Detroit area. Does anyone know of a place for at least 8 people and maybe up to 14 to have a reunion? I'd like the noise level suitable for conversation or even better a nook or room that would accommodate us. Any kind of cuisine, price not a hugh factor, but good food and drinks. If there is chef/ owner/ waiter who can recommend his/her place - I'll probably book with them.
  3. Betts

    Steak knives

    We just bought Cutco "table knives" their version of a steak knife. I like the fact that they are not large, they are very sharp and seem appropriate for the table. Why-O-why do restaurants think its a great idea to present a massive steak knife to the diner? It always makes me feel that the steak will be tough. In Minneapolis there is a restaurant that specializes in "The Silver Butterknife" steak. Now that says tender!
  4. a log of goat cheese with pomegranate seeds sprinkled over it and drizzled with good flavorful honey and served with very thin ginger cookies - like Anna's Ginger Thins. Knocks their socks off every time - tart, sweet, salty, and spicy all at once and can be assembled on the spot.
  5. I want to make peameal bacon and have it for Christmas. It seems possible but there is no definitive recipe on the net and I'd love a little coaching from someone who has done it. Horrors - some recipes call for smoking - those people obviously don't know what they are talking about. I can get something called Morton's Tenderquick - is this going to give me the right texture? This expat thanks all who might help.
  6. Minnesota - Honeycrisp for eating and baking SweeTango - new variety from the U of MN horticultural research stn - EXPLODES with a sweet, tart, crisp juice dibbling succulence. The few grocery stores that had them had to ration the supply. These are going to be a force to reckon with in a few years McIntosh - the best flavor as long as sauce is what you want
  7. I am compelled to cook the way some athletes are born to run. I like to cook more than I like to eat what I cook - but I eat plenty of it. Cooking, whether to faithfully recreate a memory or tradition, or to improvise from the leftovers is my creative necessity. I gave up one profession to do it and it is endlessly satisfying for my inner self. The bonus is that it brings me endless pleasure to see my family and guests and clients moan with pleasure. It is such a disappointment that my husband is indifferent to it.
  8. Thanks for the insights - I'm going to follow up and report. What's with the basque influence? definitely want to give that a try since there are no Basque restaurants ( or immigrants for all I know) in Minnesota.
  9. I'll be in South Lake Tahoe for a week and despite a search of CA dining , this area is conspicuously unmentioned. What gives? Will I starve?
  10. It's half past midnight and we just returned from our Julia dinner. No gin but a nice Lillet to start. Loved the leek and potato soup ( aka vichysoise ) and the beef bourguinon was terrific. All served in French sized portions so it wasn't as heavy for a hot August night as one might expect. Besides the air conditioning was on max. I made the crepes Suzette which I had never made before and really can't recall ordering in a restaurant. Probably something that one is familiar with but has fallen out of favor over the years. This recipe from the Julia and Jacques Cook at Home book was ultra tender ( read difficult to handle), super buttery and boozy. WONDERFUL! The orange butter should be scooped into little balls and called breakfast truffles.
  11. Our Gourmet club is doing a JC dinner tonight - there will be ratatouille, vichyoisse, boeuf bourguinon and crepes Suzette. I did not plan this menu but all her recipes and I forgot about her love of gin. I'll make a call. BTW - I chaired a charity culinary garage sale last week and someone found a first edition Julia cookbook signed by both Julia and Paul. She got it for $2.00. If we had known it was there we would have auctioned it off for a whole lot more money.
  12. Betts

    Savory bread pudding

    Isn't a savory bread pudding a strata by another name ? Personally I like the milk or cream with a little white wine to perk up the flavor.
  13. Need to do this. Thanks for the report.
  14. Oh Susan - I love your posts. I know that this is the neighbor to the east but I have it on good authority- the guy who cuts my hair and an avid foodie- that Nolochek is A-one. http://www.nolechekmeats.com Personally - I'm not wild about Thielen's bacon but it has a huge following. I love a Sat morning trip to Kramarzchuk's (sp?) for a one stop sausage -a -palooza. Love, love, love the krakowska - put it in the trunk for the ride home, your car won't smell the same again and the #1 Polish. If you are close enough to Canada to get genuine peameal bacon, the kind that a butcher cuts off the piece for you and then home to a fry pan and toast -- HEAVEN.
  15. Had a late night snack at Paillard - good carrot soup but carrots must have been given away to restaurants that week because everyone featured carrot soup. Far and away the best meal was the 5 course tasting meal at l'Utopie. We were checking out the menu in the window one morning and a staffer unlocked the door, and proceded to make sure that we had reservations secured. That man really knows how to get butts in the seats. They have a chef menu designed to go with a specific bottle of wine. That concept works great when it's only 2 people dining. Check out Le Croquembouche bakery across the street Cafe du Monde - lovely lunch in a very busy and unexpectedly large restaurant. I had a raclette type dish with a generous slab of melty cheese ove duck confit and crispy potatoes - contrasted with a very crisp local rose. Yummy lunch and on that day great river views and people watching. One night was supper at a cute Creperie on Rue St Jean - sort of a design your own crepe in a tiny quaint shop with slow service but a tasty product. I was sipping a local hard cider so what did I care that I waited 45 min on the street and another 30 for food. Last evening was dinner at a mostly rabbit restaurant in the Lowertown section. Pretty good but better for the conversation with the people at the next table. The teeny round tables were so close only a toothpick fit between them.
  16. After perusing this thread, these sound like the best bets for my Quebec City stay... Panache l'Utopie Laurie Raphael Cafe du Monde - lunch Paillard - lunch Aux Anciens Canadiens le Moine Echanson Cafe du Clocher Penche l'Inox - late night Pat Retro - poutine - sometimes you gotta get down and dirty! Toast Opinions welcome - are all still in business? Who is not on the list that I should know about? Have car and GPS and not afraid to use them. Merci beaucoup - after 40 years in the US my school French is down to a few phrases.
  17. I have Viking ovens that have thick glass covers over the light bulb that are mega stuck. WD40 does not work, Viking help line is useless. Any suggestions for loosening the glass domes and still have an oven safe for food? I'll call a service person if I need to but I really hate to spend the money just to change a light bulb.
  18. The banana date muffins on p94 are exceptional, topped with the country streusel. I find that the recipe yields 12 perfect muffins rather than the 14 as printed. The "too good to be true" bran muffins were winners also. I may do a babka for Easter - I'm currently smitten with Zoe Francoise's "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes" from another thread on Eg that I cannot keep up with all the bread. I need my 20- something son to move back home.
  19. Sis and I have 5 days in Victoria in mid April. She has booked "Tea at the Empress" ( I read all 8 pages of this topic - I take it that this experience is not highly thought of - more tourist than gastronomic). Will make res 's at BrasserieEcole and plan on Choux Choux for lunch. Is Pomodori Cucina and it's eccentric chef still going? Any good ideas for a Sunday dinner after a long flight? We are staying at The Rosewood Inn which includes breakfast but any other recs are appreciated. Last thought : Is there a local specialty, a not to be missed item that Victorians enjoy?
  20. I've had both the mushroom and tomato soups. The mushroom soup was a solid rendition of a mushroom puree with a little sherry but the tomato outshines it. Rich tasting but without an overload of cream - just tomatoes, onions, butter, chix broth and a little garlic. It has a bright orangey color and a clean fresh taste. Worth a smile - the recipe inside the cardboard slip case is for grilled cheese sandwiches.
  21. I've made notes on your notes. Thanks for the report so far El Mexicali is a must and I may try Zin and maybe Chez Pierre. I'll report but I'm not sure I'm as rigorously committed to an eating schedule as you. Too old and can't take it anymore!!
  22. We are spending a week in Palm Desert later this month and want to find worthwhile dining both on the high and low end of the spectrum. What are the good spots for breakfast? Unique and tasty regional dishes or foods to try ? Much as I long to get out of Minnesota weather - southwest sunshine won't be enough sustenance. I want to eat like an insider. Thanks -- Beth
  23. Randi - Great blog - it takes a lot of energy to get into physical and mental shape. I drove through Goderich in November and thought about you. Had a cup of tea at the McDs and told my sisters a bit of your story.
  24. Many thanks to both of you but this is something served before dinner with drinks.
  25. A local Irishman had a dinner and one of the hors d'oeuvres was what my customer called an "apple pie" that was served with drinks before dinner. She wants me to create a version. I think it was something from the homeland. Any ideas? Currently I am inclined to do a cheddar pastry crust with an apple, currant, spices and lemon zest filling and ease up on the sugar.
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