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Everything posted by maher

  1. you are braver than me Chris! or maybe you routinely eat higher quality food... i start with a much more tentative sniff. i only inhale deeply once that 'sniff test' comes out positive ! the smelling part is an integral part of enjoying the food, though. it gets all the senses primed for the actual eating!
  2. maher


    perfect sumup Ian was going to chime in with my two cents but i dont think i can add to that
  3. ok, here's my stab at it, if you are looking for something documented, and will accept sweet rather than savoury dishes, the Ramadan traditional sweet of Katayyef (fried pancakes stuffed with sweet cheese or nuts) has to get my vote. it is documented in Kitab-Al_Tabikh which was written in 1226 in practically identical form to the modern dish which is celebrated in every Arab household today throughout the month of Ramadan.
  4. Excellent.. Just let the chef/owner/bartender do his thing ... It is a truly memorable experience.
  5. I totally agree with Anna they are a separate food from fresh, but that's not a bad thing. Have you tried making a Caesar dressing with fresh anchovies? (full disclosure, I did... Let's just say I'm not rewriting anyones recipe book) Bourdain I think visited quimet Et quimet in Barcelona, a tiny place that is a master of bocadillos (open face sandwiches) made almost totally with canned seafood. There are a number of clips of his stuff on YouTube but I ended up carrying home a dozen jars of canned seafood from squid To ridiculously prices baby eels (angulas or elvers) home after eating there.
  6. thanks for that reminder about the two kamado companies. it explains a lot. the first time i did the research i got the Komodo Kamado company and was impressed with the obvious quality of the products. i have since come across the complaints, and the second site, where the products had dropped in price but didnt seem to be nearly as nice. it should have been obvious to me that there are two companies but the products look so similar that i didnt think about it. ... adds another spanner to the mix though at more than twice the price of the large primo i think i may have to choose that one instead!
  7. eG seems to be BGE territory, but id still like some advice. i was totally sold on the Kamado ceramic grill, but i have just taken a look at the primo, and the recent thread on the BGE has made me think again.. since its the time of year when these things are on sale, its my time to buy... never could resist a deal... i would appreciate feedback from any of you who has these grills, or if you've considered them on the way to the BGE. Please help.
  8. the traditional technique here in jordan is to do that with ghee or clarified butter... not the lightest preparation, but delicious... a special seasonal treat is to cook eggs this way with white ghee in springtime (ghee made from Ewes milk)
  9. i suspect that the brewer dark roast is nowhere near dark enough for a coffee roast... it was practically espresso roast black for coffee use.
  10. this probably isnt very useful, but i have been wanting to post something similar for a while. i really like espresso d'orzo in italy, or barley espresso. i have checked out the roasted barley kernels and they appear to be exactly what you said... dark roasted kernels. i have been planning to stick some on the stove but thought it might be a better idea and try when i fire up the outdoor grill next time. ill be sure to report back. if anyone knows if it is possible to run barley through a coffee roaster please enlighten us. one note of caution though, i was told by a barista in milan to only try barley in a manual espresso machine. he says it gums up the automatics since the puck doesnt eject as cleanly as the coffee puck. i dont know if thats accurate, but i thought its worth passing on.
  11. perfect growing conditions so should be a bumper crop. i had an early taste last week, and boy do i miss them...
  12. easy... fresh asparagus in season, drizzled with a bit of butter or hollandaise.. uric acid too high to touch the stuff
  13. thanks i saw that but i didnt know whether they sold individuals since my italian is pretty miserable. do you know where i might get the other necessary ingredients like the specific yeasts needed as well as more detailed instructions on how to go about this, storage temperatures, etc.
  14. i have read about the tradition of giving a child a set of barrels for making balsamico and continuing to make top ups to it with the kid every year, and i would really like to explore it more. does anyone have information where i can buy some of the things to make balsamico. barrels yeast, etc. are there any suppliers who would ship? any help would be appreciated
  15. avoid foxtrot oscar like anything. my experience there was overpriced middling food with poor service. for my money if you want something along that genre try Hereford Road or the Harwood Arms the potted crab at Hereford Road is worth the trip alone
  16. Amazon is listing NathanM's book at $625 for preorder. is this going to be the price now? this is definitely top of my list on books to buy, but i dont know if i can budget this much for it. given the extensive nature of the book i thought the number that was discussed in this thread of $300 or so was high but doable. $625 knocks it out of the range of most of the home market i would think. NathanM i hope this is just the marker price that amazon have put in, but can you give us some feedback on what to expect? thanks
  17. Freekeh/fareek etc is made from durum wheat. the reason it is subjected to burning, or any form of high heat is that deactivates the enzymes that turn the proteins in the green wheat into starch in mature wheat. the nutritional profile of freekeh is much higher in protein/lower in starch. the long term storage issue isnt solved by the burning, you then need to dry the grain to enable it to be shelf stable, otherwise it would rot. the green wheat is typically harvested at a miosture content of about 35%. Burning only reduces that to about 28% or so. you then need to dry it to get it below the 12% or thereabouts that make it shelf stable or about the same moisture content of wheat that has been left to mature on the stalk. the burning also produces a smoky flavor, and releases the chaff from the husk. it also makes removing the grain from the stalk easier, since most threshers would just gum up on the wet green wheat. as for the reason this is done instead of waiting for the wheat to mature and dry on the stalk? well basically it produces a different food from mature wheat, much as wheatgrass, and sprouts are different foods from mature grains. many grains and legumes are eaten in both their green and mature forms in the middle east. as a matter of fact, its currently the season for one of my favorites, green chickpeas!! hope the answer is useful maher
  18. had practically everyone i know send in an email... we tried as many different emails as possible, didnt work in the slightest. im assuming its purely luck of the draw. we tried asking for tables of 2,4,6, any. no timing, preferred month, day, date, time. mention how many previous attempts, love of food, ownership of ElBulli books, even a student who used the book for his senior research oh, i also tried spanish and english, and sent from different countries including spain. if anyone here gets in and ends up with an extra seat... care to take along a fellow eGer? !! have reservation will travel? seriously good luck those of you who havent gotten the dreaded email yet...
  19. one of my friends just received the dreaded 'due to overwhelming demand' email. he applied on the 3rd of jan, and got his reply today. "The demand has again surpassed our limited possibilities of reservations for one season and we regret not to be able to fulfill more requests. You can revise the situation during the season, near your available dates, to see if it is possible to find some solutions more when we confirm all the reservations 10 days in advance. Tel. +34 972 15 04 57 E-mail bulli@elbulli.com See calendar at www.elbulli.com (reservations)"
  20. The challenge has been covered by the UK Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/nov/18/eating-from-freezer-week-challenge
  21. Not only was he a pioneer and an inspiration, despite his disorganized ways his recipes were fantastic. every one of his that i have tried has been at least solid, and many have become family favorites.
  22. the aeropress does great cold brewed coffee for iced coffee and such as well!
  23. while not taking away from Nolafoodies excellent recipe, i will toss in my two cents for authenticity. Mansaf is the name for the dish made with dried ewes milk/yoghurt known as jameed. all other variations, while they make for excellent dishes, are something else entirely. the lamb meat for mansaf is typically cut, with the bone in, into 6" pieces and stewed with onions and minor seasoning (basically limited salt, pepper, and allspice, maybe a little cinnamon). once the meat is almost but not quite cooked, it is taken out of the liquid and set aside. the dried jameed is reconstituted in a food liquidiser. the big chunks are broken up by hand into marble sized pieces and then put in the liquidiser a small amount at a time. they are softened with some of the meat stock made from cooking the lamb. the idea is to emulsify the yoghurt, so this needs to be done in small batches. traditionally this was done by rubbing the dried yoghurt by hand in an earthenware pot, but a liquidiser works pretty well. once the jameed is a thick liquid, it can be thinned out with more stock until its a thin sauce (almost like a meat jus) It is then heated in a pot, and the meat is added for a thirty minute simmer to finish cooking and to infuse the lamb with the yoghurt taste. it is normally presented in a large dish with the rice on the bottom, the meat pieces on top of the rice in the center, and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and almonds. the jameed is ladled on the rice at the edges to finish the dish. the traditional eating method is by hand, a person would take some of the rice which becomes sticky from the added jameed, and shred a piece of meat on top of it, he/she would form it into something of a sphere about 1.5" in size and pop it into the mouth. for a less messy service, rice is served into a bowl, and more jameed is poured onto it to make it moist, and a piece of lamb would be served on top or alongside. traditional accompaniments are spring onions and radishes, and it is quite common to pour some hot jameed into a glass to drink while eating the dish. where jameed is not available, a combination of labneh (unsweetened greek yoghurt) and a soft goats cheese will give a similar though significantly milder effect. lamb meat that has been deboned and cut into 1" cubes can also be used, but the lack of gelatin from the bones takes away from the final dish. the cooking of lamb meat with yoghurt is very common in the bedouin tradition, and almost any yoghurt will work, giving rise to different dishes. it is also common to put meat filled tortellini or round kibbe (meat filled bulghur wheat balls) in the lamb sauce instead of or in addition to the meat. many regional dishes that are typically made with tomato sauces are also adapted with yoghurt sauces like stuffed courgettes so the variations are practically endless.
  24. maher

    split marrow bones

    yes. might even be less time, keep an eye on it, with it split engthwise, the marrow is likely to spill out as it heats. make sure you seal off the ends with foil or something.
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