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Posts posted by hazardnc

  1. I am trying to compose a special food gift for my folks, and I wanted to buy a loaf of Poilane bread - yes, it's extravagant - from their site. I placed an order, but was never asked for a cc#. I have serious doubts about this.

    Anyone ever placed an order with them?

  2. Stopped by two new places in Charlotte today.

    The Atlantic Farmer's Market on Eastway Blvd (in the old Winn Dixie store) is not a Farmer's Market at all, but it does have a vast selection of ethnic foods. In the frozen foods aisle, I found not only chicken (with heads and feet) but also quail, duck, frog's legs, snails and many Asian delicacies.

    The Mexican cheese selection is very good. I also saw fresh skirt steak (the real McCoy), many varieties of chorizo and other Mexican sausages. There is a great selection of Asian ingredients. The produce selection is not large, but I did see a few unusual items. They also carry cooking implements (including a tamale steamer and molcajete) I was in a hurry, so I did not get to do a real in depth investigation.

    Secondly, Marguerite's French bakery has opened in NoDa on North Davidson at 28th Street. Their oven has not been installed yet, so they are baking offsite for the next few weeks. I picked up some croissants (so-so) and a yet-to-be tasted apple tart. She has lovely Buche de Noels in the case ($45 each) and several napoleons. The woman I spoke with (Marguerite?) said she plans to offer French macaroons (very different from the coconut version most know here) once the oven is going. I hope she does! They also plan to offer a large choice of breads.

    Check them out!

    edited for typos

  3. The new year is two and a half weeks away. Fill in any or all of the blanks below:

    In 2006, I will eat more fruits and vegetables

    I will make one soup a week

    I will find more locally made/grown products

    I will learn to make manaeesh (aka khoubz bil zaatar)

    I will teach my son to cook and eat better

    I will read recipes more carefully!

    This is the year I will try sweetbreads

    I will taste more wines

    I will use more organic produce

    I will give (throw) more dinner parties

    I will challenge myself more in the kitchen

    We will not eat in front of the TV

    My kids will get their friends to try new foods

  4. I made this Six-hour Pork Roast in the past and it is fabulous. Pork shoulder is an affordable cut, and the slow roasting renders the meat fork tender.

    It could certainly go well with a fancy mac-n-cheese dish, though I agree with the other comments that picky eaters typically do not care for blue cheese. In Thomas Keller's Bouchon

    cookbook there is a wonderful recipe for Macaroni Gratin that features sauce Mornay and Emmentaler cheese. He also has a wonderful Butternut Squash soup with brown butter and sage.

    Green veggies are tough. The less adventuresome steer clear of my favorites (Brussel srouts, butter beans) and prefer green beans and maybe baby peas. I love braised carrots too.

    How adventurous a baker are you? For dessert, how about a Buche de Noel?

  5. Amen Marlene!

    While I concur that the gift baskets one can order from Hickory Farms, Harry and David or even a Southern Season are filled with overpriced, mass produced processed foods, there are some great sources for more inspired gifts.

    How about the Gourmet Basket from D'Artagnan? Last year, I sent my chef-wannabe brother-in-law the cassoulet kit (he LOVED it).

    I would love an artisanal cheese basket, or better yet, a subscription to a cheese of the month!

    I would also love for someone to give me the Metropolitan Spice Rack from Dean and Deluca so that I can make myself throw out my outdated spices once and for all.

    My husband wants The Sierra Collection from Lobels and the Bacon-of-the-Month Club from Zingermans.

    And oh how I would love for someone to ship a box of French Macarons!

  6. Every year, I order food gifts for my family; steaks for my meat-lover sister, an assortment of cheeses and pates for my parents, gourmet groceries for my wannabe-chef brother-in-law, etc. Alas, the only food gifts I get come from Harry and David. Now, there fruit isn't bad, but how I would love to receive a fancy hamper from Fauchon or d'Artagnan.

    If you were to receive a gourmet food basket, what would you hope to find?

  7. There is an unfortunate law in NC, enacted after the Jack in the Box e.coli problems, that a restaurant must cook burgers all the way through - no rare burgers. However, I've heard that if a place grinds its own hamburger daily, it can serve rare or medium rare. I don't know for sure if this is true, however.

    I believe this is true. I am not sure they have to grind their own, but the meat has to come from a local butcher that grinds it.

    My husband and I have spotted one of the owners of Eddie's Place in Charlotte buying ground beef from The Fresh Market. Eddie's is one of the few places in town that cooks your burger to order. Therefore, Eddie's is one of the few places we will get a burger in Charlotte.

  8. Chufi,

    We brought back three Dutch cheeses and I would love some help with getting more info on them if possible.

    I am going off my sales receipt, so the names might be abbreviated. Here are the names:

    Nrd. Holland Extra Oud

    Boeren Olde Remeker 2 Jaar

    Petit Doruvael

    I believe the first cheese is what De Kaaskamer gave us to sample at the shop that was similar to Reypenaer. It is a wonderful aged cheese that was a bit les salty than the Reypenaer.



    edited for typos

  9. hazardnc, I'm also a sucker for lovely packaging. And since I can't afford Tiffany, maybe Laduree can be my luxury fix for the trip.   It will contast nicely with the cat food when I go through customs!

    Since you're mentioning packaging, I remember something that should please you. Le Diptyque is a forty-year-old, very Parisian perfume company that has one shop in boulevard Saint-Germain (left-hand sidewalk, walking from place Maubert and métro Maubert-Mutualité to the Institut du monde arabe and the river) and recently has begun to sell at other locations in Paris (grands magasins, deco shops). They were the first to launch a line of unisex perfumes and fragrances in the 1960's, with a unique, black-on-white, hand-sketched design. They're still carrying on with a collection of about thirty fragrances, all very original and high quality. They also manufacture the nicest fragrant candles you can find, plus a few soaps and a very rare toilet vinegar. Not much related to cooking but Le Diptyque is well worth a visit. They, and L'Artisan Parfumeur, are the only perfume makers I need. Le Diptyque has wonderful gift packaging, overlapping silk papers of different shades.

    I was going to mention Diptyque as well. I love their candles - especially the John Galliano scent. I just returned from Amsterdam, where I bought the Galliano for 45 euros. I cannot get that scent locally, and the online sources (Neimans, etc) charge $52 US. Add shipping and handling, and the 45 is a much better deal even at the current exchange rate.

  10. I would save the macaron purchase for the day before you leave, since they don't last too long. The packaging at Laduree is fairly sturdy and should protect them in transit. I am such a sucker for good packaging. A Laduree box is up there with the little blue box from Tiffany's! Sadly, I ate mine on the plane so I had none to share.

    When I shop abroad, my strict rule is to only buy what I cannot possibly get here or only those items that are a deal, including the current exchange rate.

    I went to the Izrael spice store, but did not see anything I could not get here.

    At BHV, in the basement hardware department, you can get other great little items that you cannot get here, such as the blue and white enamel signs, etc. One item I meant to buy on my last trip was a metal grate used for heating vents. It would have made a great trivet.

    I second the grocery store bid, also. You can buy a cat lover some French cat food in flavors like rabbit and duck!

  11. Go to the stationery depart. at BHV. On my last trip, I bought some beautiful menu cards that were inexpensive and are fun for dinner parties.

    I don't know if you have a good patisserie in Boston, but if not, then buy some macaroons from Laduree - the boxes are like jewel cases. Laduree

    Gerard Mulot chocolates are wonderful, as are his macaroons Gerard Mulot

    There is a wonderful kitchen wares shop in Les Halles - someone on this forum will know the name. Copper pots and more to be found.

    I also love linens - if you are interested, I can look up the name of the man in the Marais who sells gorgeous damask table cloths and tea towels.

    Also in the Marais is a shop that sells vintage hotel silver pieces - tea and coffee pots, cutlery, etc.

  12. We returned last night from our trip to Amsterdam. We had a wonderful week in a beautiful city.

    I am not a great food writer, so I will not go into great detail, but foodie highlights on this trip:

    the biologic - or organic - food at Noordmarkt on Saturday morning, chocolates from Puccini Bomboni and Unlimited Delicious, checking out the fish sellers and eating frittes with mayo at Albert Cuyp market, dinner at Claes Claesz in the Jordaan, fondue at Cafe Bern, grabbing a falafel from one of the many Maoz Falafel stands, drinking coffee or wine at Cafe Dante on Spui and people watching, buying cheese de Kaaskamer. We loved seeing the city prepare for Sinterklaas and laughed at te children dressed up as Zwarte Piet - you'd never get away with that here in the US!

    The only low point was the arrogant attitude of one the salesmen at de Kaaskamer.

    Chufi, if you saw it on your news there - we were among the fortunate folks who were on the USAirways flight that had to make an emergency landing because of engine failure (and fire!) We had a great trip, but we are so glad to be home.

    I brought back chocolates from Unlimited Delicious, lots of cheeses and Speculaas.

  13. Thanks Chufi!

    I have read about Beyrouth. I will definitely put that one on my list.

    Since you live in Amsterdam, perhaps you would tell me other food experiences I should not miss. We will be there for a week, staying at the Canal House most nights, but splurged on Hotel 717 for our last night.

    Is there a good chocolate shop? Which grocery store should I visit (I love to browse the aisles and I often buy food gifts that way), which market day is the best? We are in there from a Wednesday - Wednesday.

    Is the Santa Claus Festival anything interesting?

  14. I will be in Amsterdam next week (7 day visit). Looking for suggestions for great ethnic food - specifically Indonesian and Lebanese/Middle Eastern.

    We will be near the Anne Frank House (staying at the Canal House).

    Also hoping to book a table at De Kas - any egulleteers been there yet?

    Lastly, would love some suggestions for atmospheric bars/koffee houses (I was told coffee with a "K" = coffee, coffee with a "C", not coffee!)

  15. Let me re-post the menu, so folks don't have to scroll back:

    Eastern NC-style, whole hog barbecue, with sauce (Varmint)

    Western NC-style barbecue, with sauce (Varmint)

    Smoked Chicken (Varmint)

    Goat (probably) (Varmint)

    Smoked portabellos (in =Mark's honor, who will be unable to join us this year) (Varmint)

    Slaw (Varmint)

    Greens (Varmint)

    Green beans or field peas (Varmint)

    Fried okra (Brooks)

    Okra & Tomatoes (Brooks, Brooks, Brooks)

    Potato salad (Marlene? -- Varmint to source potatoes, Marlene in charge of the rest)

    Hush puppies (Malawry)

    Deviled eggs (Debbie Moose)

    Brunswick Stew -- Varmint-Dave Variety (Dave the Cook -- Dave, let me know what you need in advance)

    Pickled Okra (Brooks, of course)


    Homemade, hand-cranked ice cream (foodiehall- yum!)

    Viennese style desserts (Carrot Top)

    Butter Tart Squares (Marlene)

    Bread Pudding (Weka)

    Banana Pudding (VaNC)

    Rainbow Jello Mold (Rachel)

    Lots of others (my in-laws!)


    Red Hook Beer (complements of Harris Wholesale)


    Red & White Wine (complements of Carolina Wine Company)

    Cocktails (Katie and Janet in charge)

    Limoncello (Katie - although don't count on there being any left!)

    Iced Tea (Sweet and unsweet) (Varmint)

    Citrus Ade (Varmint)

    Am I missing anything?

    no boiled peanuts?

  16. Not that I plan on eating at Per Se anytime soon but since I don't agree with the flat rate service charge I will take my dining dollars elsewhere

    Voila! Problem solved.

    If you dine at an establishment that charges 20% service charge for all tables, and you receive poor service, you have options including complaining to management and/or NEVER DINING THERE AGAIN

    BTW, I guess those of you opposed to automatice service charges never order hotel room service. In my experience, 18% service charge has been the norm for many, many years.

  17. we saved some leftover grits from yesterday's breakfast and spread them in a shallow pan to chill. I have looked for grits cakes recipes, but most say I should have mixed in cheese prior to chilling.

    Anyone out there with a good recipe for leftover grits?

  18. is anyone else unhappy with some of the judges? They don't seem to be open-minded, and they seem to have a perceived notition of what they like and dislike before even trying out the dishes.

    I swore during the judging on the Batali/Des Jardin episode the woman on the right of Steingarten said something like "I was prepared not to like this dish etc.".......

    No, you are not alone and yes, the woman said just that! She also made a face after tasting Batali's "parfait."

    I am particularly irritated by the celebrity judges. I like Soledad O'Brien, but leave her behind the anchor desk where she belongs. I really hated it when Mo Rocco was a judge - he did not take his job seriously in the least.

    And who IS that woman to the right of Steingarten?

  19. I just got back from 4 days in Chapel Hill and and the pleasure of shopping at both Southern Season (they are having an inventor reduction sale now btw) and the Weaver Street market. I absolutely loved both.

    Though I was living in the dorms at UNC and therefore not buying to cook immediately, I was extremely impressed by the offerings at Weaver market. Great selection of cheeses and meats. I know I saw beautiful, organic chickens.

    I hit the Carborro market Wednesday afternoon, but I either showed up too early (right around 3 PM when they open) or it is too early in the season for the vendors to have much to sell. I didn't have a chance to go back later to see if offerings improved.

    I also noticed that the restaurant adjacent to Weaver, Panzanella, will feature a "Local Produce" dinner soon - would have loved to try that.

    I bought several cheeses from the celebrity dairy that I am looking forward to eating.

    I wish we had a Weaver market in Charlotte!

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