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Sandra Levine

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Everything posted by Sandra Levine

  1. Christos-Hasapa Taverna is a Greek steakhouse and, unusual for the area, a white tablecoth restaurant with a good wine list featuring, yes...serious Greek wines. A more casual place, fairly new and not well-known, is Agnandi, 19-06 Ditmars Blvd. Very good food in the homey Greek style.
  2. I've done it both ways and there's no discernible difference, but I prefer to put the butter in at the end simply because it makes more sense to me. Also, there is more control. If you feel you've added enough butter, even if it's less than the recipe calls for, you can stop. Go for it and use the Plugra.
  3. I don't mind sharing my recipes because I have found, as others have pointed out, that people never follow them anyway, and my version is always better. Even if someone were to say that I left something out...everyone has heard that before and knows what it means.
  4. I carry my own tiny flashlight for the purpose of reading menus and make a point of taking it ostentatiously out of my bag when I need it. I'm afraid that my show only telegraphs to the staff that I'm not in the demographic the restaurant is seeking to attract. Come ot think it, is there any correlation between the dimness of the lighting and the loudness of the music?
  5. Trenton had a Toddle House, too, pre-dating McDonald's. It was a small diner, very cute. One of the biggest treats of my childhood was eating waffles there with my father. Thank you for jogging the memory.
  6. Nathan's in Coney Island still serves frogs legs.
  7. I grew up in Trenton, N.J. and my earliest restaurant memories date from the late 1940s. My family "ate out" only on Sunday, choosing from an almost unvarying group of restaurants: Fisher's, on Broad St. in Philadelphia; Katz's, in NYC; The Pub, a steakhouse in Cherry Hill, NJ; and and Marsilio's Kitchen, in Trenton. Occasionally, we would take out from Trenton's one Chinese restaurant, Lido Garden, but I remember eating there with my family only once. Fisher's was a seafood restaurant housed in a neo-Tudor building where the line to get in would extend, it seemed to me, down the entire block. I don't know if they didn't accept reservations at all, or if the concept was simply unknown to my family, but we always waited with everyone else. Eventually, we would be able to wait inside, where I could watch the men at the bar off to one side shucking clams and oysters. I ate my first raw clam at about age 7 here. On the table was a plate with carrots, celery and olives (canned California black) to nibble while studying the menu, as if that were necessary. My parents usually steered me to fried or broiled scallops, one of the less expensive entrees, and I always started with clam chowder, a thick Manhattan chowder, albeit not very tomato-ey, heavy on the thyme. It remains my clam chowder touchstone. My mother sometimes had a lobster. When I was a little older, I did too. Lemon meringue pie was the dessert of choice. Dinner here came to about $5 unless you had lobster, which made it a dollar or two more. Katz's: I can assure you that Katz's (in appearance) is unchanged, since I was eating there as a little girl when "Send a salami to your boy in the Army" really meant something. We usually sat in the service area -- against the wall, to be served by an ancient waiter whose hands shook so much we feared for our sandwiches, which were the same size then as they are now. The first price I remember for a corned-beef sandwich is $.95. That's 95 cents, yes. You could get your sandwich on rye (a higher quality bread than today's) or club. Club was a delicious, chewy, semi-hard roll that I always ordered. It was not at all the same as a hero sandwich roll. Pickles and cole slaw were part of the meal. French fries were not. We drank Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray or cream soda. The menu was very basic -- corned beef, pastrami (too spicy for me as a child), hot dogs, salami, roll beef. The Pub: This was a free-standing suburban restaurant with a parking lot, unusual at the time. I always had the cheapest thing on the menu, seduced by the glamorous French name: steak en brochette. I remember open flames here off to one side and the patrons being able to watch the steaks being grilled. The menu was full of superlatives and "cute" descriptions, like the baked potatoes being described as "rubbed, tubbed and scrubbed." The potatoes were huge and probably wrapped in foil. as well. Marsilio's Kitchen: There is still a restaurant in Trenton, in Chambersburg, by this name, and for all I know, it may be the same. There were a series of small dining rooms. I remember white tablecoths although the typical southern Italian-American red sauce dishes seemed to call for a red-checked tablecloth with candles in fiaschi. We always had penne (called pencil points in Trenton) with tomato sauce and veal parmagiana. I guess wine was available, but it wouldn't have occurred to anyone in my family to drink it. It wasn't Passover... Of course we ate pizza. This is Trenton. DeLorenzo's on Hudson Street was my favorite. When I was growing up, they used a coke oven that I swear, and you must believe me, produced the finest pizza crust, unequalled by ANY, even, dare I say it, in New Haven. There was a fire, and afterwards, the restaurant switched to a conventional oven with the inevitable decline in quality. There was no bathroom there in the early days, either. Lido Garden, the Chinese restaurant. When my family took out, it was always chicken chow mein, shrimp in lobster sauce and the like. One day, my brownie troupe went on some kind of field trip that ended with a meal at the Chinese restaurant. Our leader ordered sweet and sour pork. My first bite was a revelation: Pork! Sweet and sour! I never knew food could be like this. In the late fifties or maybe very early sixties, Restaurant Associates opened The Newarker, at the Newark Airport. After reading about it The New Yorker and being impressed with "knife and fork" oysters, I begged my parents to take me there. The oysters were huge, but it was the curried chicken (a Frenchified version, to be sure) that I remember -- a revelation similar to my sweet and sour pork awakening. It was "curry" and therefore served with a number of condiments like raisins, bombay duck (a dried fish) peanuts, etc. These were called chutneys. Naive as the meal was, it piqued my interest in real Indian food.
  8. OK, Purim's over. It's time to bring this thread back to the top. Share your ideas, recipes, techniques and coping mechanisms, please.
  9. Pomegranate molasses, which is concentrated pomegranate juice and molasses-like only in consistency is readily available at low cost in middle Eastern and some gourmet groceries stores. Would it be possible to dilute the syrup to the consistency of juice? If so, with one bottle, you'd have two ingredients -- the molasses and the juice. I would try this myself, but I've never had POM and don't know if I've achieved the desired result.
  10. I made the regular Marcy recipe last year and the brown sugar did not crystallize. I used "Brownulated" sugar and that may have made the difference.
  11. I assume we're talking about La Mere Poulard? At the time that I ate this, many, many years ago, the omelettes were made by separating the yolks and whites, beating the whites until stiff and folding them into the yolks. The eggs were then cooked in a fireplace using a very long-handled black pan. They were rather souffle-like, but nothing to complain about. Mont St. Michel was overrun with tourists then and must be even worse now. I'm sure that there has been, over the years, a negative effect on the restaurant.
  12. All other crabs aspire to be blue crabs.
  13. It's possible to pipe lekvar, but the apricot filling I use (see the link to the earlier thread) is too lumpy to go through the tube neatly. I just make sure that my hands are clean and I use my index finger to "help" the filling off the teaspoon onto the circle of dough. If you get a chance, I wouldn't mind a copy of the gingerbread-apricot hamentaschen recipe either.
  14. Let us know how they come out.
  15. St. John is wonderful, and maybe essential during a London visit nowadays, but its food is a fantasy of what traditional British food was, or should have been. Wilton's food is probably more authentically traditional, and the setting is certainly more comfortable. It's like dining in someone's stately home.
  16. Enjoy your Kitchaid, Marlene. I've had mine (bowl lift) for 25 years.
  17. It's a gum from from the bark of acacia trees that is used as an emulsifier in confectionery.
  18. Wait a second. Wait a second. Someone here knows who Eva Zeisel is? Damn, eGullet has it all. ...from the beginning
  19. Spaghetti squash is a credible substitute for pasta.
  20. That sounds delicious, Zennenn. The trick will be to remember the recipe during plum season.
  21. How do you do that, Artisanbaker?
  22. I was asking for YOUR recipe, Zennenn, for the Italiam plum jam with Grand Marnier. My banana jam recipe does appear in this thread, above.
  23. Banana Jam This recipe is adapted from Catherine Plagemann's book Fine Preserving. She says it is of Indian origin. Other appropriate spices (cardamom, cinnamon, etc.) can be added. Plagemann says 8 bananas will yield 7 8-oz glasses, but I've always ended up with less. 8 ripe, mashed bananas 3 medium lemons 3 c sugar 3 c water 1 inch square piece of ginger, peeled cloves to taste (3 is a good number) 1. Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water for ten minutes in a 4 quart saucepan, or larger pan. 2. Zest the lemons and juice them while the syrup is boiling. 3. Mix lemon zest, juice, bananas, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl. 4. Stir banana mixture into simple syrup, and simmer 30-45 minutes. The jam will be a pale yellow mush, no need to test for jelling. Keywords: Condiment, Fruit ( RG868 )
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