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Everything posted by Vervain

  1. Does anyone know anything about these places in Richmond? Shanghai River Northern Delicacy Northern Dynasty
  2. Thanks. That's what I was afraid of. But it's good to know.
  3. Is there a great place for dim sum in Vancouver on a weekday night? Does anyone serve it at night? In-laws are flying into YVR at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday and want great dim sum before we take them to our house in Bellingham, WA. Is this feasible?
  4. We're moving to Bellingham, WA and plan to take one of the Seattle newspapers as well as the local Bellingham Herald. What are the general differences between the two Seattle papers? And which has the better food and gardening sections? thanks!
  5. For years I've wanted to find my mother's cookbook, the only one she ever used. I never knew the name and the cover was long gone by the time I started noticing it. But I remembered it had thumb tabs, like a dictionary. I finally found it! It's called The American Woman's Cook Book edited by Ruth Berolzheimer. My mother's copy was probably from 1939, though I'm not sure. Anyway I would love to find more information about Berolzheimer and the Culinary Arts Institute she was director of. At first I thought it was just a publisher, but maybe not. Does anyone have any information? Thanks in advance.
  6. Thank you for asking. The skin came out tasty and crispy, the best ever. Nothing tasted too salty at all. And the breast meat came out OK, but it really could have been more moist. That, I think, is definitely due to my trying to shortcut your recipe I did put butter under the skin before roasting which probably helped a bit. But next time I'll be sure not to skip the time in the plastic bag!! Just a related question, would putting a whole chicken in the fridge uncovered for a day (no brining involved) make the skin crisper without drying out the meat?
  7. Well, um, ahem. We're making the turkey today so I just salted it yesterday and put it in the fridge uncovered. So basically, I've probably dried the turkey out rather than helped keep it moist. We'd just bought the bird and didn't have much time. I also had a (very) vague memory of an L.A. Times recipe for dry brining that came out years ago. But probably it called for putting it in a bag as well. I recently put seasoned duck legs uncovered in the fridge overnight and they came out so well that I probably just mentally combined the two processes. Aargh. Oh well. My excuse is that I was just in a bad (mostly for my car) car accident a couple of days ago and am still a little shook up. Hopefully, with enough wine, the turkey will taste good anyhow. Thanks, Russ, for the reply. Happy Holidays!
  8. Thank you Dave! That's the answer I was figuring/hoping for . Happy Holidays to you!
  9. We're using Russ Parson's recipe for "Judy-ing" a turkey by dry brining: salting the turkey at 1T per 5 lbs. Right now it's salted (since yesterday) sitting uncovered in the fridge. His recipe does not call for rinsing off the excess salt before roasting, but I'm worried about the turkey tasting too salty. Russ, are you out there? Or does anyone else have experience with this?
  10. As I posted above, not in Los Angeles.
  11. No, no luck. But I haven't called M. Marcel. Great idea! However, in the end, the person I'm recipe-testing for is back East and wants to know about general availability. If So.Cal. folks can't easily obtain an ingredient, she needs to offer substitutions.
  12. Not stupid at all. I'm doing recipe-testing for someone back East and try to stick to the ingredients exactly as described. I wrote to her about the problem and suggested exactly what you did. She wants me to try just the half & half and see how that goes. And I just called Bristol Frams; no dice.
  13. Does anyone know who carries light cream in the L.A. area? The British call it "single cream," and it's about 20% milk fat. It's between half & half and heavy cream. I've already tried Gelsons, Ralphs, Whole Foods, and Surfas. thanks!
  14. Vervain


    I doubt it. I feel that my results show that the salting and hanging affects deeply into the meat. I'm not absolutely certain, but that's about as good as I can tell just tasting without doing a proper chemical analysis. The lemon and oil should also burn off very quickly in the oven so you'll still be able to get a crispy skin and crust. ← Thanks for responding Kent. But how would they burn off when they're under the skin?
  15. Vervain


    I just made some dry-aged duck legs the other night that were fantastic. They only had a dry rub (which included some salt) on them and stayed, uncovered in the fridge over-night. After roasting, they had the ideal crispy skin. Now we're going to try the same with a whole chicken, but I have a stupid question: would it undo the whole skin-drying process to put some lemon and olive oil and spices under the chicken skin AFTER dry-aging (before roasting)?
  16. Thank you all! I got them at Surfas (along with some Grade B maple syrup I needed).
  17. Before I start hopping from store to store, I thought I'd run this past you well-shopped folks. I'm looking for large or small caperberries. No, not capers, but caperberries. http://www.tienda.com/food/pop/cc-02.html I'm in WLA, but will certainly drive further afield if necessary. I need them within the next couple of days, so mail-order isn't the best option. Any thoughts?
  18. Actually, I kind of like the culinary forms of noun-to-verbing like "plating up" or "fire" (as in food not people ). But, personally, the one I HATE is using "impact" as a verb, and a transitive verb at that. It just sounds awkward and, well, WRONG. But I digress. I can see a chef who's designed a carrot garnish for a dish telling someone it's time to "carrot the pork." Yes?
  19. I've been reading through some past restaurant reviews in the Indianapolis Star (a perk of having university connections and a research librarian husband ) and, yes, almost all of them use the headings. But the other reviews seem to be from more food-experienced people. That being said, the articles feel more like reports than reviews: I went (once) with a couple of friends and this is what it was like which, I would guess, is the newspaper's editorial stance. Personally, I've got no problem with that. I don't think I can paste in any entire reviews (legal issues?), but here are a few bits from one in particular: Foodie-licious - New Broad Ripp * * * * ← Are the reviews by a variety of different writers? ← Actually, yes. However most of them (at times 3 an issue) are by Traci Cumbay who clearly knows food and is also following editorial instructions on format. The review I quoted from earlier is by Shari Rudavsky who does do some restaurant reviews but seems more to be the medical reporter for the paper. At least, most of the articles I turned up when searching her name were health-related. Other names show up on reviews from time to time, but my very quick (and unexpert) scans didn't reveal anyone as out of her element as poor Ms. Hale. Frankly, I wonder if this was a kind of reporter-style hazing?
  20. I've been reading through some past restaurant reviews in the Indianapolis Star (a perk of having university connections and a research librarian husband ) and, yes, almost all of them use the headings. But the other reviews seem to be from more food-experienced people. That being said, the articles feel more like reports than reviews: I went (once) with a couple of friends and this is what it was like which, I would guess, is the newspaper's editorial stance. Personally, I've got no problem with that. I don't think I can paste in any entire reviews (legal issues?), but here are a few bits from one in particular: Foodie-licious - New Broad Ripple eatery serves with a flair -- and for a price that's worth it Indianapolis Star, The (IN) July 21, 2006 Author: SHARI RUDAVSKY SHARI.RUDAVSKY@INDYSTAR.COM Estimated printed pages: 3 My parents are New York foodies who follow chefs' comings and goings the way some fans follow sports teams. So whenever they visit Indianapolis, I strive to introduce them to a new gastronomic experience that involves neither a pork tenderloin nor a chain restaurant. The arrival of a Broad Ripple restaurant that billed itself as preparing mostly local foods in creative ways sounded like the perfect place for their next visit. But just to be sure, I wanted to check out L'explorateur for myself. The Food With no appetite-distracting bread in the offing, our dinner began with an amuse-bouche of a quarter-sized crisp risotto croquette with a basil flourish. Next was a salad of grilled baby romaine topped with a scattering of diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a piquant dressing ($7). The ingredients melded marvelously with each bite, with the lukewarm lettuce anchoring the taste. Still, I almost regretted not ordering the chevre and vidalia onion tart ($8) on my companion's plate. The sweet caramelized onions danced against the goat cheese in our mouths and the tart was gone before I knew it -- and before I could snag a second bite. * * * * A dessert of a grapefruit sorbet with tarragon spritzer ($7) offered a tart and cool ending to the meal. (We passed up the other option, a "beetsicle" with beet-flavored ice cream.) But at first the tarragon spritzer, served in a small black cup with a short black straw, had us flummoxed. We experimented with using the straw to drizzle syrup on the sorbet but then, with a hint from the waiter, switched to sipping on it for a refreshing end to the meal. The Atmosphere Almost as much attention has been given to the setting as to the food. Clean crisp lines and plenty of natural light give this restaurant an airy feel. The Service Dishes arrive via a parade of sorts, with as many servers as there are diners, marching out, each carrying a plate. Once they reach the table, they hover, and, in sync and with a flourish, deliver the dishes simultaneously in a rather pretentiously choreographed dance. * * * *
  21. I just had to google "al pastor." ← Me too ← et moi aussi Oh I do hope there isn't going to be a vocabulary test by the end of this string. I don't think I'd do all that well without my reference books and Google!
  22. OK, since we're finding our way(s) into understanding Ms. Hale's delemma, how about a round of penance. I've already admitted to misinterpreting my first experience with an amuse bouche. Then there's the time during my first visit to France, I ordered duck breast. In a huff, I accused the waiter of serving me beef instead of duck. He insisted that it was indeed duck, and I insisted that it was rare beef. In my own defence, I'd never eaten duck breast before and had never before huffed at a waiter. It was a bad trip for lots of reasons. Thank God, no one was asking me to write a review.
  23. Yes, I've just now read the entire review, and, no, she's not kidding. But there are a few "howevers." It is true that this is an inept but also a well-meaning attempt at a restaurant review. First of all, she clearly went only once with one companion, so the review tells the reader what happened on that particular night and with those limited dishes. She was indeed relieved she didn’t order the foie gras, though it’s not clear if it was the “goose,” the “liver,” or the “pate” part that bothered her. However she was “surprised by a waiter who brought us both a sample of halibut ceviche, compliments of the chef. It's similar to a salsa or vegetable relish, except it also contains small, tangy chunks of halibut. The waiters offered the sample to all the diners.” That last declarative sentence seems so sad. OK, she really hasn’t been out to dinner at upscale restaurants a lot. But I admit that years and years ago when I was served my first amuse bouche, I too thought I was being singled out as “special” by the chef (or at least the waiter) until I saw the same dish being brought to everyone else and then felt just a little embarrassed. The rest of the review is a straightforward recitation of their dinner with occasional references to what was flavorful or nicely browned but not what anything actually tasted like. She seemed oddly surprised that “The chicken was flavored with herbs, but still juicy.” And—horreurs—her aged Angus filet “was broiled medium well, just as I ordered it.” She dutifully reports that the desert menu offers “11 dessert wines, 17 cognacs and armagnacs and five other sweet items” (though I don’t know what she means by “other sweet items”), that the service was friendly though she was poured a cup of cold coffee (the waitress was “very gracious” when she mentioned it later), and there were white tablecloths. But the most important piece of information is that I couldn’t find any other restaurant or food-oriented articles written by Donna Hale. She’s written about straight news both local and international for the paper, but not about food. So if we’re going to rag on anyone, it should be her editor. Poor Ms. Hale got an expensive dinner and a lot of internet bile for being a reporter sent to do a food-writer’s job.
  24. Has anyone read these novels? What did you think? Crescent by Diane Abu-Jaber St. Burl’s Obituary by Daniel Akst The Butter Did It : a gastronomic tale of love and murder by Phyllis Richman
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