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Everything posted by edsel

  1. I've got a few pics of the market tour. Lots of regional Mexican food. This Oaxaqueño place had terrific tamales. Festive mood. Need a copper pot? David Hammond explaining the various foods at this stand. They had huitlacoche, which they spelled guilacoche. Lots of refreshing beverages. I had jamaica (hibiscus). David Hammond is very knowledgeable when it comes to the ethnic foods at the market. Many thanks to Ronnie for setting this up!
  2. We had a delightful time at the Feast tonight. I'll post some pictures later. The party was still going when I left. Our Ethnic shopping expedition organized by LAZ was very entertaining. The Niles area has some great little shops. Edit: here are a few pics. Prep for the coconut cream sauce. Bob diligently stirring the cracklings. The bread from our workshop. Randi's composed salad. Ron smoked some ribs. Kerry's confections. Most of my people-shots turned out kind of blah. I'm hoping that SamIAM got some better ones.
  3. Blackbird and Violet Hour were wonderful. I'm dragging a bit today after being out late two nights in a row. Today's bread workshop was a great success. Tom did a terrific job of explaining the finer points of bread making. We made four different types of bread which we'll have tomorrow at the Heartland Gathering Feast. No points for guessing which loaves were formed by the professional and which ones were a learning experience for the class.
  4. Randi, I'm sure that one of the Asian stores will have Tamicon (or something similar). I'll keep an eye out for it.
  5. I was planning to bring my (Heartland-made ) Vita-Mix with both the wet and dry blade containers.
  6. Making bloody Marys from tomato water is fun. Especially if you can make it absolutely clear (like water). Shola has a fun post about this on his blog.
  7. Tom, I think that the single-bread class would be fine. The multi-bread workshop sounded pretty ambitious. Finding a kitchen with one oven (and for a shorter period of time) sounds more do-able. I hope.
  8. A birthday celebration at the chef's table at Lola last night. A concert up the street plus a baseball game at Progressive field made for a lot of activity on E. 4th St. I grabbed a snapshot of the new patio seating. E. 4th St. has now been blocked off to all but pedestrian traffic starting at the valet parking drive next to Lola. The patio was empty at that hour (5:30) but the bar area was stacked three deep. I heard an out-of-towner shouting into his cell phone: "I'm at some bar called LOLO". Guess he's not a Food Network fan. We were seated at the Chef's Table, a big slab of alabaster overlooking the open kitchen. I started out with a cocktail. Pomegranate & Figs "Martini" I put scare quotes around the word "Martini", but this drink was quite good. A tad sweet, but that was expected given that it is made with fig syrup. Michael Symon was not in the house - probably out filming some TV series. Lola's Chef de Cuisine Derek Clayton was running the show. He's a veteran of Takashi Yagihashi's Tribute in Detroit, and also worked at Doug Katz's Fire on Shaker Square. Chef Derek started us out with a dish they're still tinkering with. Berkshire pork belly with Apricot glaze That's what I'm calling it, anyways. The pork belly is cured, slow cooked, deep fried, and coated with a delicate apricot glaze and served with sliced fruit and jicama. It was over-the-top delicious, reminding me of a "pork crouton" dish they did at Lolita a couple of years back at a special Slow Food dinner. Next up was a selection of charcuterie, all house-cured. The venison salami and the bresaola (from local beef, no less) were standouts, but everything on the plate was terrific, down to the tiny cornichons. House-Made Charcuterie This was accompanied by a sparkling rosé from Oregon. Next up, chef Derek sent out a platter of beef marrow with a variety of garnishes in little bowls. This is off-menu, but the marrow is used as an accompaniment to a steak that is on the menu. Our table was unanimous: this should be available as an appetizer in it's own right. The marrow is lightly dusted with flour and deep fried. This gives it a delicate crust surrounding the ultra-rich marrow. Served with flat-leaf parsley, pickled onions, lemon wedges, salsa verde, and coarse sea salt. Mix and match to you liking. Awesome dish. Chef Derek Clayton describes the marrow dish to the table. voilà! My selection. Next up for me was a sweetbread appetizer. Lola does the best sweetbreads. Sweetbreads with wild mushrooms. Here's the Berkshire bacon appetizer from the regular menu. Served with cornbread and BBQ sauce. It's delicious, but I think the new version with apricot glaze is even better. Berkshire bacon appetizer. I chose the braised beef short ribs for my main. The ribs are super-tender. I believe they're cooked sous-vide. The ribs were great, but the real stand-out for me was (oddly enough) the braised baby turnips. Beef Short Ribs Pastry chef Cory Barrett sent up a trio of desserts not on the current menu. I think some variant of these dishes may appear on the new menu they're rolling out. There were some great flavor combinations, like the creamy bleu cheese with mango and caramel sauce. The "tropical drink" dessert combined coconut and pineapple and sported a paper umbrella. Like a piña colada. Silly but also very tasty. The dessert course was accompanied by a lovely floral Sauternes. Dessert sampling. A fitting end to an awesome meal.
  9. "Under reduced atmospheric pressure" Not a sexy title. I'm looking forward to what chef Keller & co. have to say on the subject. All semantic quibbling aside.
  10. I had a bite of the Wylie dog. Fried Mayo rocks! More than a bite would have been too much, after a tasting menu at momofuku ko. The john deragon dog looks just a wee bit too rich for me (sorry johnder! ). Well, I guess on an empty stomach it would be manageable... The Dewey D is cool. I would have a hard time figuring out that it had sherry in it if the menu didn't say so. Rye and Aperol are definitely the dominant flavors. The Bee's Sip is (surprisingly) not at all sweet. Very floral and rather exotic. I like.
  11. Yeah, it's a tough decision. Bread... Chocolate... Bread... Chocolate... Bread... Chocolate... At least we all get enjoy the results of the workshops.
  12. Sometimes cancelations show up at random times. I snagged a reservation late last night for the 6:00 PM slot this evening. It's the "four-top", so I need to find folks to go with me. PM if you're interested.
  13. Momo virgin checking in with a couple of questions. I'll be in town for most of next week. I'll be across the river in Astoria, but my hotel is close to public transportation so I should be able to make my way into Manhattan without too much trouble. Is there a recommended time of the evening to show up at either m. noodle or m. ssäm? I don't mind waiting for a seat, but if the place is mobbed that might be a bit of a bummer. Are there any must-not-miss dishes at either place these days? (I'm ruling out ko, since reservations there proved impossible). I know that a lot of this has been discussed before, but I'm curious about what the current recommendations are, considering that the menu seems to change at both places fairly often.
  14. Oh great, now I'm gonna be up all night clicking "reload". I had my first experience of Ko Denial today. I'll be in NYC next week, so I figured I'd enter the "lottery" along with however many thousand fellow players there might be. It's astonishing how quickly the reservation system goes from "wait for it" to a grid of red XXX.
  15. I just want to point out that the photos on Nancy's blog give a much more accurate impression of the food at Wonton Gourmet. I'm not sure what the heck happened to the colors in my photos... Next time we try the frog.
  16. Speaking of specific courses and what people want to make, I've volunteered to head up organizing the food for the Saturday banquet. Our large size is going to require a different approach to logistics than we have typically taken. Look for a post from me this weekend to begin a discussion around that! ← I've been wondering about the logistics of cooking dinner for such a large crowd. The gatherings in Ann Arbor and Cleveland were much smaller than this one. I know that you, Randi, and NancyH have all cooked for big groups. I suspect that many of us will find the scale of the whole thing just a wee bit daunting. It's gonna be fun, no doubt!
  17. Back to Wonton Gourmet again. Three of the four in our party had already been here, so we decided to order a few things we hadn't tried yet. The chive potstickers are a nice variation on this old favorite: We ordered the rice noodle without any filling other than chives and cilantro. Very fresh and flavorful. Much as we all love the fish-maw and dried scallop soup, it was time to try something new. Chive dumplings and Chinese broccoli in a savory pork broth. Delicious! Shaomai. These were outstanding, and well worth the wait (they make them fresh to order). Black Pepper Beef over spaghetti. (Yes, spaghetti - I guess it's a Hong Kong thing). Just the right touch of peppery spice. Grouper balls with vegetables. Fresh and delicately seasoned. With all of that excellent food, our bill came to twelve dollars per person, including tax and tip. The food is delicious, the service congenial, and you can't beat the price!
  18. Count me in on the bread workshop. I already do a bit of baking myself, but there's always room for improvement. Thanks for setting this up, Tom.
  19. Oh yeah, guess I forgot to say where it is. Wonton Gourmet & BBQ, 3211 Payne Ave. (Corner of E. 32nd and Payne, just down from the Dave's Supermarket.)
  20. I came to this thread thinking I'd add an addendum to the comments about Wonton Gourmet. I just presumed that NancyH, Stuart_S, or Tino27 would have already posted about it. I can't believe that there is no mention here of Wonton Gourmet... This past Sunday was my second visit there. I met NancyH, her husband Bob, and Tino27 for a late lunch. My initial impressions from a previous visit are confirmed. This place is terrific! They present themselves as "authentic Hong Kong Style". I can't speak with any authority on that - the last time I was in Hong Kong was decades ago. I can say that there are items on the menu here you won't find any where else in Cleveland. We started with a lovely soup of fish maw and dried scallop. This has an intense "umami" flavor and a silky texture. A few drops of red vinegar add a nice accent: We wanted to try a few Dim Sum style dishes. The Turnip Cake is representative. My picture doesn't do it justice - very fresh, with a crisp crust: I also enjoyed the shrimp wrapped in rice noodle: The rice ball with Chinese sausage is another example of fresh in-house preparation: Finally, soft-shell crab was simply wonderful. The crabs were live just before being prepared. The batter was thin and crisp. This is a modest, unassuming little storefront restaurant, but it's clear that they're serious about preparing fresh and tasty food. Another unexpected treasure for Cleveland foddies.
  21. Add me to the Friday list. Thanks for setting this up!
  22. I have to admit that I was baffled by some of the statements in the Roca/ Brugués book, but I mostly glossed over the confusing passages in favor of the seemingly definitive information about sous vide cookery contained in the book. I still value the practical application information in the book, and I think the discussion of sanitation issues is accurate, but MikeTMD's citation of the stuff about vacuum, etc., gave me pause. I had to go back to page 76 to see for myself. There's no question that Roca et al. state that water behaves differently under reduced pressure. However, it's implied that this applies to food sealed in a bag: (my emphasis added)This discussion is accompanied by FIGURE 1 / Effect of temperature-pressure relationship on water states. The figure shows the lowered boiling point of water vs. reduced pressure. As Sam has pointed out, this would only apply when the food is sealed in a rigid container. Roca et al. seem to be talking about sous vide cooking as we know it (food sealed in a bag). So this part of the "definitive" book on sous-vide would appear to be incorrect. Perhaps the very term "sous vide" is unfortunate, since it leeds people to think that the food is actually "under vacuum" when cooked, rather than just vacuum-sealed.
  23. I love this place! I can finally get beautiful fresh scallops that haven't been treated with nasty chemicals. I knew someone had to be bringing them into the Cleveland area, since I've enjoyed them numerous times at fine restaurants like Fire and Lola. Never found them at retail until now. The last time I stopped by for scallops there weren't any in the display case. I had to wait for them to be unloaded from the truck. Those scallops were loaded on the truck in Boston that morning, and I was buying them in the afternoon. Not gonna get fresher scallops in Cleveland... I've also made sushi and sashimi with the sushi-grade salmon, tuna, and escolar. I wouldn't risk that with any other supplier here.
  24. Another wine dinner at Baricelli. This time the featured winery was Villa Calcinaia. Count Sebastiano Capponi was on hand to introduce five of his wines, plus the estate-bottled olive oil of the same name. Chianti Classico Extra Virgin Olive Oil D.O.P. This is the olive oil served at Baricelli (in the tiny bottle shown) to accompany their bread service. It has an official E. C. Denomination (hence the D.O.P. label). More info on their web site. This oil has a beautiful peppery freshness and a supple, lingering complexity. Just gorgeous with the bread from Mediterra Bakehouse. Sautéed Halibut with Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil & Fennel Villa Calcinaia Comitale 2006 I hadn't realized that halibut is a seasonal fish until chef Minnillo noted that it was just coming into season now. He has been living by the "fresh, seasonal, local" mantra for many years now. Yes, I know you're thinking it's a bit early to be seeing fresh tomatoes in Ohio. Those were hothouse grown, and it's been warm enough for a few weeks now for the grower to open up the greenhouse windows to let in some fresh air and sunshine. They may not be quite as tasty as late-summer tomatoes, but tasty they were! The wine was a great match for this dish. It has a nice acidity and fruit. Count Capponi told us which varietals are used, but i promptly forgot. According to a web reference I found the grapes are grechetto and vernaccia. Pappardelle Puttanesca Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico 2004 The pasta was freshly made and was cooked to perfection - just the right degree of "tooth", neither over- nor under-cooked. The Puttanesca sauce was appropriately zippy, with a touch of anchovy to give it some depth. Chef Minnillo brought around some freshly-grated cheese, explaining that this would be frowned upon in Italy due to the presence of fish in the dish (seafood and cheese never mix). Since the anchovy plays just a supporting role here, I wouldn't think that any "rules" were violated. The Chianti Classico has a pleasant tannic backbone, and was well-paired with this dish. A dining companion who doesn't especially care for Chianti wines was pleasantly surprised. Paul's Heirloom Pork Sausage with Swiss Chard & Ramps Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico Riserva 2004 Everyone raved about this sausage. Deep porky flavor with subtle fennel spicing. I was delighted to see ramps on the menu. The polenta was creamy and delicious. As good as the Chianti Classico was, the Riserva blew it away. this is a gorgeous wine. Sautéed Duck Leg with Cannellini Beans & Spring Veggies Villa Calcinaia Casarsa 2004 The duck was more pan-roasted than sautéed - it tasted like a very good duck confit. the vegetables were intensely flavorful. I especially enjoyed the beans, which were fresh and tender. The Casarsa is billed as a "Super-Tuscan. It might more accurately be called a what-the-hell-is-that-grape? wine. Apparently the vines were supposed to be a traditional local varietal. When the leaves opened up, they just didn't look right. Wait a minute, that isn't Merlot. is it? Honestly, I would never have guessed the grape here. Another winner. V|C EVOO Ice Cream with Basil & Chocolate Truffle Villa Calcinaia Vin Santo I've had olive oil ice cream before, and this was a good one. The presentation was delightful, with a spoon-shaped tuille. The Vin Santo was awesome. It had that fortified / oxidized character, but with great dried-fruit notes. Delicious.
  25. Her restaurant / catering operation is called Lady and Sons.
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