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Everything posted by viaChgo

  1. I believe when the show debuted, Martha was either incarcerated or in the midst of her legal woes. Glad to see her presence on the show. The show is also a lot more polished than the first season. The personalities are a little more glammed up as well.
  2. I know it's a couple-three years late but the gelateria in question is called Gianni http://www.gelateriagianni.com/index.htm It' the best. Seriously.
  3. Wasn't there already a battle with chocolate as the secret ingredient? Batali vs Michael Laiskonis?
  4. In our household it was common at larger meals. It usually had apples in it as well. I see quite often here in Chicago at restaurants.
  5. viaChgo

    Sweet potato gratin

    Thanks to everyone for their tips! I decided to make my gratin the night before & reheat it at the house where we were having Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out great! here's what I did. I incorporated 2 thin layers of russet potatoes to increase the starch content. I also used less cream & also heated it. I used just enought to moisten everything. After it came out of the oven, I was a little concerened because it looked like the cream had split and it still looked a bit soupy. However, after it sat in the frig overnight and then was reheated, it was perfect! All the liquid had been absorbed and the layers had firmed up! It was delicious! A great combo...sweet potatoes & apple.
  6. I'm making a sweet potato and apple gratin for t-giving and did a test run this past weekend. I layered raw sweet potato slices, seasoned w/s&p, then sliced apples, nutmeg, dotted with butter, and then repeat. I then poured in heavy cream til it god almost to the top layer. I sprinkled grated white cheddar on top, covered with foil & baked at 350 for an hour. The taste was great. However, it was a bit soupy & the cream looked like it had separated. I was hoping for creamy and thick enough for all the layers to hold together. Any tips? Too much cream? Should I bake uncovered? Higher heat? Thanks!
  7. Sapporo Original flavor is my fvorite as well. It's a great base to add to - eggs, scallions, kimchi, leftover meat. Also, I like to mix 1 Sapporo Original witha spicy Korean one, like Shin.
  8. You could try Paulina Meat Market: 3501 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60657 (773) 248-6272
  9. viaChgo

    Top Chef

    I believe she also had a stint on the Food Network on one of the Melting Pot shows. Isn't she also married to Salmon Rushdie?
  10. The Chicago-style hot dog is, indeed, a beautiful thing. I enjoy them occasionally. But, for my money, the Italian Beef is really where it's at! And actually, most of the time I end up going with a combo. That's Italian beef AND sausage.
  11. I like to add minced pickled jalepenos for heat. I like the flavor & heat of the peppers but the vinegary pickling juice adds a nice tang as well.
  12. Alton Brown did a show where he cooked flank steak (I believe?) in glowing hardwood coals. He used a blowdryer to blow away any ash and then layed the steak right on the coals.
  13. Does your oven have a self-clean cycle? If so, run it. If not, get some oven cleaner & give it a good cleaning. Built up gunk can adversely affect your oven's ability to disperse the heat evenly. Then by a cheap oven thermometer to see how accurate your oven is. My oven is pretty accurate with its temp but I keep an oven thermometer in there all the time anyway. With my old oven, it was a good 30-50 degrees off. With the oven thermometer in there, you can adjust the temp to what you need & not rely solely on the oven's dial.
  14. It sounds like you didn't have enough bones/too much water. I like to supplement my chicken backs with a package of wings. There's lots of collagen in the wings.
  15. viaChgo

    Top Chef

    I was just wondering...would any of you think of being a contestant on this show?
  16. viaChgo

    Top Chef

    I thought the guest judge - the wedding planner - was useless.
  17. Due to an allergy, I'd like to alter a recipe for lasagna by omitting the eggs in the ricotta mixture. I'm wondering how that would affect the end product? Will it just be more crumbly without the binding properties of the egg? Thanks!
  18. viaChgo

    Top Chef

    I've officially gotten sucked into this show. I think Dave is the next to go. He doesn't have the same chops as the others and thus far, he's been a bit of a train wreck emotionally. He may be able to tur out tasty food but so can any number of those who post here. He lacks the organization and leadership to run a kitchen. On another note, I've really enjoyed reading Tom Collichio's blog on bravotv.com, as well as Gail Simmons'. It's a great companion to the tv episodes. There's a lot of insight and perspective that doesn't fit into the episodes. For example, Tom noted that he did not think Stephen's clams & sea beans should have won the immunity challenge and he wasn't totally on board with last week's Quickfire tasting challenge either.
  19. Ronnie, Great review! I'm heading to CH for dinner on Friday night. I had a quick question about the wines you had. Were they by the glass or bottle? I'm leaning toward by-the-glass selections for our meal on friday & was hoping they'd have a good selection. Thanks!
  20. If possible, is it preferable to cold smoke bacon vs hot smoke? I finally picked up a copy last weekend and I'm looking forward to making some bacon!
  21. viaChgo

    Top Chef

    I had that same thought while watching the last episode! For the record, I do enjoy watching the show. But it's definitely more entertainment that a test of real-world chefdom. All of these shows need a Stephen-like character to keep things interesting. I predict he'll stick around for a while.
  22. Speakig of pretzels...if there's an Aunt Annie's in the food court, I can't resist. Those things are like crack.
  23. I tried the new McD's premium coffee twice at 2 different locations. I asked for cream & sugar at both. One location added the cream but gave me a bunch of sugar packets. The other location just gave me both the cream & sugar to add myself. I guess they don't have the DD-system down yet.
  24. Owen, yes, I was talking about Intelligentsia...I meant to mention them in my first post. They brew great coffee! There's also another roaster in town called Metropolis. It's a toss-up between which one I prefer. It pretty much depends on which one is closer at the moment! I guess it's possible that the DD that I frequent (for donuts) brews a very weak cup. Or they don't brew as strongly as they used to back in the day.
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