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Everything posted by ned

  1. You know it's a funny thing about the ninth street blend. I bought beans and worked with them a little to see if I could get a gentler shot and found the same thing. And I remember thinking that the roast was really good. Well in any case I live a block away from their new location on 13th street. I went there this morning and I'll probably drop in tonight. It's a good cup of coffee.
  2. Mayur, do you drink a straight espresso or one with milk? I ask because I'm increasingly finding a disparity in judgement between lovers of one and the other. I'm a Seattle native and have the good fortune to visit there a couple of times a year. As much espresso as they pull there, it's pretty uncommon for people to drink it without milk. I think the baristas have drifted toward pulling tighter packs with finer grinds and darker roasts so that the coffee can speak through the milk I've found this to be the case at Victrola and Ninth street as well. When this same shot is alone in a cup, to me it's too much. Additionally, I want to make the following statement: There can be too much crema.
  3. ned

    Braised Lamb Recipe?

    A couple of years ago I did rolled veal breast for passover. It was a hit and could be done in advance and in one big roasting pan. I'll see if I can find the recipe.
  4. ned

    Home-made Pancetta

    The skin is far tougher than the fat. I'd probably do it skin side down also and angle your blade slightly toward the skin and let the edge take the path of least resistance. I feel ridiculous saying this but your knife should be very sharp. I'd probably use my slicer (sujihiki).
  5. a.k.a. arrozé also, financiers! only with browned butter, please. ← I've heard it called baise? Something like that. I assumed it meant that the butter is kissing the meat. . . ?
  6. I made lamb shoulder chops for dinner tonight and was reminded of another place in which brown butter plays a key role. In (very) short tenures at Ducasse and Jean George as well as Seeger's in Atlanta, I had the opportunity to watch and learn a method of cooking meat that I think is really fantastic. A well seasoned piece of meat, say a ribeye (but a lamb shoulder chop works great too) is seared in grapeseed oil (or another high temp oil) in a heavy pan, preferably copper or cast iron. After you get color on one side, turn the meat and take the pan off the heat. Add lots of butter, some thyme and a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed but not too much and still in the paper. Bring the pan back to the heat and tilt it. With a spoon, baste the meat. The butter should be somewhere between foaming and brown. In fact it should be in both states depending on where it is in the pan. The trick is to keep the butter from burning and the way to achieve that is by carefully monitoring the heat and keeping the fat moving. If it starts to burn, get the pan off the heat, pour off the fat and add new. The brown butter is infusing with garlic and thyme and fond. The meat is bathed in the infusion. There are other things happening that I have some theories on but that Mr. McGee would be much more qualified to address. In this month's New Yorker, Bill Buford mentions that Gordan Ramsay's cooks use this method also. I think it's a pretty widespread practice. At its heart is the careful handling of browned butter.
  7. Me, I loves the brown butter. I also love cold butter and melted butter and whipped butter. Additionally I like salted butter whipped butter and unsalted butter. I like butter from Ireland, Denmark and Vermont. I also like Land o Lakes butter but I don't know where it comes from. I was working alongside a young german cook making crepes to accompany a venison dish. He called them craps. Then he called himself the crapmaster. I nearly snorted into the pile of cooked craps that I was carefully folding into perfect triangles. I'm sorry but the guy was driving me up the wall. Anyway he browned the butter that went into the craps. It made a big difference. I now add browned butter to my dutch babies too. I totally agree on browned butter with the omelette. But for me it's a tricky thing because I have a moral objection to browned eggs. You must move swiftly and with great care. Just yesterday I happened across a recipe (it's the first one in the book) called "Eggs au beurre noir"in Rex Stout's fan-f**king-tastic "Nero Wolfe Cook Book." He advocates pouring clarified browned butter over shirred eggs. When I get around to shirring an egg, I'll try this. Two other places browned butter shows up that I like very much: 1. Prune's kerchief pasta with ham, poached egg and bitter greens. 1.a.oh yeah and also Prune's radish and trout roe with browned butter. 2. Asparagus with cepes, dressed with the browned butter.
  8. I totally agree one both counts. How can this person expect to be taken seriously when he has a maid, ok housekeeper. But more importantly, this is a symbolic act, more performance art or political protest than a reasonable lifestyle choice. As such it's purpose is to garner attention and spur dialogue. He's achieving both of those things.
  9. ned

    Dutch baby

    Last Sunday I was surprised to turn to the food bit in the Times Magazine and find a dutch baby staring at me. Amanda Hesser did a short piece on them. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/magazine...r=1&oref=slogin
  10. ned

    Dutch baby

    I think that a clafouti rises because of whipped egg whites and (I may be exposing my ignorance about baking here) baking powder. I don't think I've seen a clafouti recipe with whipped egg whites or baking powder, though I won't swear that there aren't any that call for those. Here's Julia Child's recipe. Not the same as a Dutch baby, but not too different either... ← I ought to know better than to mouth off about clafoutis when I know little or nothing about them. After reading half a dozen recipes online, the only difference I can see is more liqud ingredient in the clafouti. As an aside, if you take roughly the dutch baby recipe but whip the egg whites till they're stiff and use a little baking powder you'll get a giant puffy pancake that it also delicious but not puffy in the same way as a dutch baby.
  11. ned

    Dutch baby

    I think that a clafouti rises because of whipped egg whites and (I may be exposing my ignorance about baking here) baking powder. My wife's dad and I have been making something he calls bubbelah but after a little research I find that it's more of a fruitless clafouti. I feel pretty excited about it but the wife prefers the dutch baby. Ahh the pleasures of cooking for family. They don't mince words. You could use cast iron but you'd have to be on your game. I've used heavy copper lined with stainless steel and it didn't go over so well.
  12. ned

    Dutch baby

    I made a dutch baby for my boy one morning about six months ago. Since then, at his request, I've made many, many more. Finally the recipe feels just about right. Here's what I do. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In one bowl: 3 eggs 5/8 cup of milk 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla In another bigger bowl: 5/8 cup of flour a heavy 1/4 cup of sugar generous pinch of salt When this is assembled, start 3 tablespoons of butter browning in a small pot. Whisk the dry ingredients, then the wet ones, mix them together and when the butter is a nice caramel color, slowly pour it into the batter while whisking. I've found that the right pan is essential. You want a pan that gets hot fast, not a heavy one. I don't have one of these (yet) but my guess is that those french black steel pans would be perfect. I use a 12 inch non-stick pan not for it's non-stick qualities but because it is aluminum and the walls have the same thickness throughout. Melt more butter in the pan, another 2 tablespoons. Pour batter in the pan. Over medium high heat, cook until the edges of the batter congeal (what do you call this?). Put the pan in the oven. Cooking time should be about ten minutes. The dutch baby is done when you see a light brown here and there and the edges have risen up the side of the pan and it has bubbled up in places as well. The dutch baby is a much sweeter cousin of the Yorkshire pudding and a pancakey version of a popover. Some people sift powdered sugar (thanks Therese) over the top of their dutch babies. The above recipe is pretty sweet as it is.
  13. I dunno about the other closings but Gawker's quote of the DOH's report on DiFara's is unnerving. A measured response would I think be welcome from all the sides of the fence. I'm curious about a couple of things. Were are all of these places that are now being carefully inspected previously inspected by the inspector who passed the Taco Bell? How does an inspector miss rat activity on the scale that was present at Taco Bell. And if you can't miss it, was there something more nefarious at play? I mention it only because I haven't read anything about the possibility anywhere else.
  14. Otto but not for the pizza. OK pizza for the kids but pasta for the rest of you.
  15. Cabbage for corned beef? Best methods?
  16. ned

    Ushi Wakamaru

    I really like this restaurant. I like how relaxed the atmosphere is in relation to the quality of the food. High quality fish. And lots of interesting things. A fellow sitting next to me on my last visit has been eating chef (and ownerI think) Hideo's food for 16 years and recommended many things, among them a kind of preserved miso that reminded me of the weird Norwegian cheese called gjetost. Chef cuts some nice sticks of a long skinny cucumber with which you scoop the miso kind of like eating peanut butter with celery. I asked what form it came in, if you buy it as it is or if chef had done something with it and he laughed and said that the chef's mother had made it. Fabulous. They, like Seki are serving a Wagyu beef sushi although here it is seared where Seki's is raw. Still sublime but not quite as much so as Seki's. Also he had mackerel roe and some spicy cod roe. As you can see I've recorded none of the Japanese words for these items but they all did go in my belly. The price point is amazing. And it's a block from Pegu Club as well as a fantastic Qi Gong place on Sullivan allowing my wife and I to complete what we call the "trifecta."
  17. ned

    Il Buco

    I've been eating at Il Buco regularly for seven years. The crowd there can be irritating but the food is consistently good to very good. They are serious about what they do and to call it a date restaurant and to compare it to One If y Land (of which, admittedly, I have no firsthand experience) does Il Buco a disservice.
  18. Some years ago as I was reading either the French Laundry Cookbook or one of Michael Ruhlman's "of a Chef" books, I started to wonder about chickens. I takes some chicken to make a rich chicken stock. I started thinking that to make a stock rich enough that you can dilute it by half and still have something along the lines of a light chicken soup, you must have to use a lot of chickens. Then I thought about how many cans of Campbell's chicken soup there are in the world at any given moment and that led to the question "How many chickens must Campbell's cook a day?" I wrote them a letter asking that question. They responded politely but refused to answer the question. I forgot all about this nonsense until a couple of days ago when I drank a bottle of V8. The experience got me wondering again, this time about the Campbell's company and tomatoes. Like where are they farmed and how do they use them. I guess both of these musings are about the inner workings of the industrial food complex (is that what it's called?) If I were a journalist I'd want to write an article about these things. But since I'm a lazy bastard, I just want to mention the idea and then read someone else on the subj. (PS: I'm well aware that they season the sh-t out of both of these products. That fact doesn't in any way lessen my curiousity)
  19. ned


    I totally agree with you. I always cook an extra piece or two for the next day. Wonder what it is about the salmon that makes it so. For what it's worth I find that halibut has the same quality.
  20. I've only been to Masa once. I'd love to go there once a week and a couple of days a week for lunch but alas, who has the time. I walked out wondering how he makes any money.
  21. I haven't been reading a ton about this molecular gastronomy and it's not really my cuppa tea. Those credentials in mind, I'm reluctant to associate sous vide cooking with it. Sous vide goes way back. The plastic part is new and ability to take so much air out is new but before plastic there was slow and low in an animal skin bag. I think sous vide itself is evolution, not revolution. And a useful tool for making science food. (but so are conventional pots and pans and ovens).
  22. Agreed. And ketchup inside french fries.
  23. In the car the other day I found myself wanting ketchup on my fries but unable to dip for safety reasons. Then I wondered why nobody has yet figured out how to put cold ketchup inside the french fry and then I had the lightbulb. This is the future of molecular gastronomy. Mr. Rogov said it first in this thread. This too shall pass. I think this too shall largely pass from haute cooking. But it will take root in food production for the masses where there is a boundless appetite for neat tricks with food or fire (fourth of July) or gravity (bungee jumping) or momentum (rollercoasters).
  24. We are really fond of an odd sort of noodle that I'm not even sure if can rightly be called a noodle at Shanghai Cafe on Mott near Canal. The are discs cut on the bias that I think are rice based. Three cheers for Shanghai Cafe.
  25. ned


    I grew up in the northwest and never liked fish. Too bad for me huh? But then one day I was in Atlanta and my wife's father cooked some salmon that changed my perspective. He made a glaze out of honey and soy, some fish sauce, lime juice and shallot. He cooked portioned pieces of salmon filet in the broiler basting frequently until the fish was medium rare. Served with fine sliced scallion and sea salt. It's a delicious way to eat salmon and I've been cooking it this way myself since that fateful day in 1999. I'm starting to feel the need to branch out. What do you do?
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