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Posts posted by MsMelkor

  1. Lunch at Canteen:

    Melkor had a smoked salmon omelet, which was good except for the glob of cream cheese in the middle. I opted for the cardoon and goat cheese omelet with crisp roasted potatoes. The cardoons had a great texture - not at all slimy as they can be when they're overcooked - and the goat cheese added a tangy note. Melkor's latte was utterly forgettable.

    Dinner at R&G:

    I generally don't eat crab - although we don't keep kosher, it somehow seems wrong to eat pork and shellfish. But our friend wanted to try R&G, and it is dungeness crab season so...

    We ordered the salt & pepper crab, the spicy garlic crab, along with the "special beef" and noodles. To start, we had vegetable egg rolls (nothing earth-shattering here) and soy sauce beef (a little cloying but surprisingly delicious). The beef was excellent, but my attention was focused on the CRAB!!! The salt and pepper crab was deep-fried, and the meat moist and sweet. The sauce on the other crab was as advertised - both spicy and garlicky - so the emphasis was less on the crabmeat itself and more on the interplay of the various components of the dish. Both crabs were huge...luckily there is always room for cheesecake...

  2. Mai Khao is at the northern end, pretty close to the airport. We stayed further south, at Karon Beach, which was beautiful, but quiet. To get around we rented mopeds - cheap and very convenient form of transportation. The best food we found was on the street. Just look for tents, especially on back roads, with a lot of mopeds parked in front of them. Make sure you save room for roti after dinner. Our favorite vendor was at the night market in Karon, but roti carts can be found all over the island.

  3. Melkor and I made the quiche from Bouchon again. We've made it a couple of times already, so now it's very easy.

    I think the key with the dough, in addition to what everyone has said here and on the Bouchon thread about this recipe, is to make sure there are no visible pieces of butter, as these will cause a seemingly impermeable crust to crack. I also try not to fold the crust onto itself inside the ring mold.


    Once that was blind baked and cooled (I know Russ and others say to fill the crust while it's hot, but I've had good success with a cool crust), we worked on the filling: chanterelles and black trumpets foraged over the weekend, and beef bacon we cured recently.


    The mushrooms were sauteed in the bacon fat, along with minced shallots and green garlic from the garden, and everything drained on paper towels to keep the moisture to a minimum.

    We then layered the Gruyere, custard, and mushroom/bacon mixture, filling it right up to the top. Keller says to bake for 90-105 minutes, but after 75 minutes it was puffed and set.



    Once it cooled, Melkor trimmed the crust.


    Final product, with a wilted spinach salad:


    The crust was great - not at all soggy. The top could have been a little less brown, although I think we caught it just in time, since it wasn't tough. In the past the flavor of the mushrooms has gotten a little lost in the quiche, but this time they shone through. Good thing it came out well, as we'll be eating this for many days to come....

  4. Cole's is a steakhouse in downtown Napa. They serve prime, dry-aged, corn-fed beef with family-style sides. Steaks are around $25-50, and sides are $3-8. They have chicken, fish, veal, and pork, but I've only had the steaks, since it is a steakhouse, after all. The meat is high-quality and is usually done right (i.e., rare is actually rare), but you can really do some damage to your wallet here.

  5. The Four Seasons in SF is quite nice - the rooms are very large and well-appointed, and the staff helpful and professional. When I stayed there a couple of years ago, they offered complimentary transportation from the hotel around town (pretty limited radius, if I remember correctly, so might be of limited use since it probably won't be raining in September).

  6. oh Taylor's.  I totally forgot about that place,  but rather then argue over which is better you could do both on seperate days.  If it were me going back to Napa I would run to the Taqueria 3 Hermanos Mexican restaurant right in the town square of Napa for a super burrito.

    For tacos I'd recommend a taco truck. If you want a restaurant setting, I prefer Las Palmas on Yajome in Napa.

    Just remember not to eat too much before your dinner at TFL!

  7. I have no idea how to visually tell how far gone it is, but my first hint would be to try and buy it from Farm stands instead of supermarkets if you can find ones which carry it.  Or maybe grow it yourself, although I admit I have no idea how hard that is, having never attempted it.

    Our celery plants are trying to take over our backyard. If you blanch the plants by placing milk cartons or something over them, they stay white and have a milder flavor, but now that we have more like a celery hedge, I've given up. If it ever stops raining I'm going to try to dig it out so we can use the space for something else.

  8. Hot Truck was definitely a favorite when I was an undergrad, although we're having them for our 10th reunion this summer, and I'm not sure I'll be able to scarf down a WGC like I did in the old days.

    There are a bunch of food carts on Library Mall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I remember Thai and Jamaican food, although I think there were others as well. Evidently there is a very heated debate about late-night carts in more residential areas near campus.

  9. I grew up eating them in thin slices sprinkled with lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Gosh,  haven't had that in a while- you've inspired a craving  :biggrin:

    When I was in Thailand at the end of last year, I was introduced to this delicious snack. You could buy them on the street, peeled and sliced, and dip them into a small bag of ground chilies, salt, and sugar. Tart, salty, spicy, and just a little sweet. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water!

  10. We just harvested a bunch of onions from our garden, so I made a carmelized onion tart tonight. After I made it I was thinking I should have added some butternut squash, since we still have a few left over from our harvest at the end of last year.

    If you partially blind bake the crust (just until it starts turning light golden brown), you can still use a filling that needs to be in the oven for a long time.

  11. My mother, whom I love dearly, used to feed us Steak-Umms, Hamburger Helper, scalloped potatoes from a box, and the occasional TV dinner.

    When I was a teenager, she realized that assembling food from various boxes probably wasn't the healthiest (or cheapest) way to feed the family, and she began cooking more food from scratch.

  12. A trivial question...  When Miles ripped open the bottle of wine with his mouth to go running through the vineyard with it, do you suppose that was a screw top or were the film makers trying to make the viewers think he pulled the cork out with his teeth?  :laugh:

    Melkor and I though about this too after we saw the movie - he said he thought they had previously opened the bottle and just recorked it. That would make it easy to grab the top of the cork with your teeth so you can run amok through the vineyard!

  13. I'd recommend Dasaprakash for South Indian food - it's right in Santa Clara.

    For Napa food, Samgiovese's got some great recommendations. I really enjoy Bistro Jeanty, especially when they have smelts on the menu. It's pretty simple food, so don't expect anything too elaborate, but it's very well prepared. I prefer the atmosphere at Bistro Jeanty, which is more of a country bistro, to the more urban feel of Bouchon. I think you'll have a good meal at either place, but don't go to Bouchon expecting "French Laundry lite".

    Bistro Don Giovanni has good Italian/Mediterranean. I'm not a fan of Tra Vigne, although I haven't been in a couple of years (after a few bad meals there I've sworn it off, and no one I know has had a good meal there recently). Haven't been to Domaine Chandon since Ron Boyd took over - it's pretty expensive, and I haven't gotten motivated to check it out. Terra is not cheap either, but everything I've had there has been excellent. I haven't been to Pere Jeanty since they became a steakhouse, so I can't compare it to Cole's Chop House, but I've had some very satisfying steaks at Cole's.

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