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Everything posted by mhberk

  1. That's great!! At what point did you add the matzo meal?
  2. Is there an "ideal" amount of consomme to make at one time? In Jack's course, he uses 1 Qt. of stock. But what if I have 6 Qts? Would the consomme turn out better in smaller batches or would it not make a difference if I were to make the whole 6 Qts?
  3. I know that Fabio Trabocchi (now at Fiamma in NYC) uses wonton wrappers for one of his signature dishes - Lobster Ravioli. He says that wonton wrappers can be cooked at a lower temperature. "...Take, for example, another signature dish, the lobster ravioli, made with chunks of lobster. “I don’t like puréed fillings in ravioli,” Mr. Trabocchi said. “It’s too commercial.” He uses wonton skins instead of pasta dough because they cook at a lower temperature, so the lobster remains tender. And he seasons the dish with a hefty dose of ginger..." (NY Times - 2nd to last paragraph)
  4. mhberk

    Risotto--Cook-Off 21

    I know that this thread is a bit old, but here is a shrimp, asparagus and brown butter risotto I made not too long ago: Blanched the bottom two-thirds of asparagus and then pureed them with a little chicken stock. I reserved the tips for garnish. Made the risotto and added the puree after the last ladle of chicken stock was almost completely absorbed. Sauteed the shrimp and then topped the risotto with the shrimp and asparagus tips and then drizzled the brown butter on top just before serving.
  5. If you buy your pans from Williams-Sonoma, they will replace your pan with a brand new one when the non-stick part starts to wear down/off.
  6. I've read several comments about the KA 6-quart bowl being too large to do smaller batches. I haven't read through the whole thread to see if this has been addressed yet, but KitchenAid also sells 3-quart bowl (and whip) attachment that fits the 6-quart models (and 5-quart models) for those doing smaller batches. KitchenAid sells it for $69.99, but you can find it cheaper at other places (Williams-Sonoma has it for $59.99). Also, for those who are paying full price for the 600 Pro, consider buying it at Williams-Sonoma. They have a lifetime warranty on all their products (even if the manufacturer offers a limited warranty). I've bought several All-Clad pans from them over the years and when ever something happens to one of them (like the non-stick coating wears down), they replace it with a new one with no questions asked. When I bought my KA 600 Pro over the weekend, I asked the sales lady about the warranty on it and she said that Williams-Sonoma offers a lifetime warranty on it.
  7. Thank you! I used plain old Arborio. I've been experimenting with risotto quite a bit recently but got inspired to make asparagus risotto after watching Mark Bittman's "The Best Recipes In The World" over the weekend when he had his Rice Recipes episode and Mario Batali made risotto. I didn't really use his recipe, but I was inspired by the ingredients he used and the way he waited until the very end to add the asparagus puree. I was also impressed by how little stirring he actually did. When he added the rice to toast it, he spread it around with his fingers to increase the surface area and then just let it sit there without touching it. Even when he added the broth, he just let it sit there and simmer away. Overall, it was very good, but the nutty flavor of the drizzled brown butter on top, along with the shrimp, REALLY added a nice compliment.
  8. Sounds great! I'd be willing to host that one. ← I'd be up to doing this sometime in December. I felt inspired, so I made some asparagus risotto and added some shrimp that I sauteed in brown butter and then drizzled the brown butter on top of the risotto. This was probably the best I've ever made.
  9. We look forward to having you at one or more! We are baby tolerant. And I come with a built-in babysitter. For anyone else out there, space is available and -- even if you're not coming -- any commentary on creative side dishes is welcome. ← I might have to take you up on that! Any chance of a future risotto get together?
  10. Just thought I'd point out that the Food Network's Throwdown With Bobby Flay is showing its crab cake showdown tonight at 10:00. He's throwing down with a couple of guys from Maine (what do they know about crab cakes anyway?). This looks like it will be a great time! Unfortunately, Mrs. mhberk and I are taking Roberto Donna's Risotto class the day before in Virginia and that's about all the driving a pregnant Mrs. mhberk can handle from Columbia in a weekend. I'd be interested in future events though.
  11. I visited Murky coffee a few weeks ago with my cousin (who's a coffee snob from Berkeley, CA). He wanted to go to a great coffee house in our area, so I figured that this would be a great opportunity to check out Murky Coffee. I'm no expert when it comes to coffee, but cousin said that the coffee he tried was "nothing special" and that this place would probably go out of business if it was in the Bay area. He did, however, say that the mocha was "exceptional"! So there you go...
  12. I don't have the issue in front of me, but I DID find it odd that 2 Amys got three stars ahead of places like Galileo and others that were more deserving. Not to discount their pizza (arguably the best in town), but I just didn't feel that the restaurant as a whole deserved to be ranked that high. EDIT: Didn't notice that Busboy had already covered this.
  13. Does anyone plan to give up either their Friday or Saturday reservation? Please let me know before you do so. Or I'd be willing to trade my IndeBleu (Friday @ 7:30 for 2 (but could try to switch to 4 if needed)) for a Vidalia, Galileo, DC Coast/Tenpenh, etc. Thanks!
  14. When do they start posting the list of restaurants for 2006?
  15. OK, went to Palena again over the weekend and the service was exceptional! I don't know what happened the previous 3 times I went, but Palena redeemed itself with my last visit. I guess I'm just a sucker for their chicken! Speaking of their chicken, have any of you narrowed down what might be in the brine? As we were sitting there over the weekend, we noticed a hint of vanilla bean and cardamom.
  16. I would have to disagree about the service. I've been there three times and it's been pretty consistant (consistantly POOR that is). The first time we went (after having such high hopes for this place), our reservation was at 5:30 and they didn't get the menus printed until 5:50 (this was on a Friday or Saturday evening). So we sat at our table without drinks, bread or a menu until close to 6:00. Our waitress turned out to be pretty ditsy and not at all what you'd expect at a "white table cloth" service restaurant at those prices. The second time we went, we sat outside and ordered off the cafe menu. It felt like it took forever before the waitress came over and took our order. I got the chicken (which of course takes 45-60 minutes) and my wife got the burger. When we were served, my wife asked for kechup or mayo or something like that. Our waitress said she would bring it right out, but never did. She didn't even come out to check on us for the next 20 minutes. And the third time, I was out with some friends and we were eating at Indique. I wanted to bring a chicken home for my wife so I called Palena to order one (knowing it would take 45-60 minutes to cook) when our food arived at Indique. They told me that they wouldn't accept orders over the phone and that I would need to come in to order it. No problem. I just crossed the street and went in to order it. When I arrived, I was reminded of the time involved in preparing it. I told them that I was aware of the time and that I would be back in an hour to pick it up. So I went back over to Indique to join my friends. After an hour I came back to claim my chicken. The waitress came out and said that she had totally forgotten to put in the order! She DID give me a GC for a free chicken for the next time I'm around, but I live in Howard County and can't make it out to DC as often as I like. But even as consistantly bad as the service has been, I would highly recommend the food to anyone! It's the service that keeps Palena from near the top of the list for me.
  17. MissCindy - Please report back and let me know how it went!
  18. Where in Timonium? I'm in Timonium every Monday night for a class. It would be nice to hit a good coffee house before class begins!
  19. After re-reading the Morimoto vs Donna thread, it appears that I had a different memory and interpretation of the tone and words of Joe H. I would like to retract the portion of my post that included my comment about Joe's degradation of Morimoto. I would also like to publicly offer this to Joe (in the voice of John Cleese): "I'm really really sorry, I apologize unreservedly. I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact, and was in no way fair comment, and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you, or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future." Joe is a class guy and I STILL wish him all the best!
  20. I always enjoyed reading Joe's posts as well as living vicariously through his culinary experiences! He has certainly eaten meals and visited restaurants around the world that I could only dream about. What really started to turn me off about him was when he was posting in the Donna vs. Morimoto thread. I thought it was one thing to defend Chef Donna for not finishing his meals, but when he started degrading Morimoto and his talent, I started losing respect for him. Still, I wish him all the best!
  21. This weekend will be our second anniversary and, just like the first, we'll be spending it with Todd and his crew in the tasting room. We can't wait!!
  22. Has anyone been yet? We've been twice for dessert have been very impressed! The menu (both restaurant and bar) look looks very creative and we are looking forward to going there for dinner in the near future. The service is appears to be equally impressive. Just wanted to see if anyone else has tried it out yet.
  23. I can't comment on the paella, but the experience that my wife and I had a few years ago for Valentine's Day (though a few days after the 14th) was excellent! I can't remember what she got, but my seared tuna was prepared to perfection! VERY flavorful and symmetrically seared all the way around. We sat in one (of two) of the "special" tables (which was recommended to us that we reserve). The whole experience was very memorable and I would (and have)recommend Taberna Del Alabardero to anyone!
  24. OK, my mother lived in Cleveland Park for YEARS and this Saturday will be my first visit to Palena. I've always lived vicariously through those that posted on this thread and after Saturday, somebody will be living vicariously through me! We'll be sitting in the restaurant, so I we won't be trying the chicken that I've read so much about. I WILL get the gnocchi though. Are there any other recommendations from those that have been there recently for each course? Thanks in advance!
  25. Hey Jarad, I saw that they used your glasses Spanglish. When my wife and I watched that scene, we had to pause the movie and reminisce about our great experience and the creme brulee!
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