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Everything posted by Abra

  1. Abra

    Need help with menu

    Amuse: little griddled latke-style potato cakes with goat cheese mousse Starter: a "tabbouleh" of buckwheat kasha and diced pickled rhubarb, plenty of spring onions and green herbs Main: Moussaka made with smoked eggplant Dessert: goat cheesecake with pecan crust and rhubarb compote
  2. Today I found a nice Rumtopf jar from Alsace at a garage sale, and I'm ready to start. I have these guidelines that I can follow, but if any of you are rumtopf makers and want to advise me, I'd really appreciate it. Right now there are strawberries, and the cherries are just beginning, so I want to get going as soon as possible. I'm especially wondering what kind of rum is best to use, although I'm assuming that a light rum is called for here, or even if some other alcohol would be as good or better.
  3. Abra

    Recipes That Rock: 2008

    Hey, Soba, nice to see you after so long! Do you think this would be good with the roquefort-stuffed gnocchi I have in the fridge?
  4. Abra

    Walnut Oil

    Chufi's post reminded me that I once made her a potato salad with a mayonnaise made with walnut oil. Yum, I need to make that again.
  5. Hmm, was that Chard oaky, as Australian Chards are wont to be? Next time I'd suggest a Picpoul de Pinet for an inexpensive widely available wine that's really good with fish. But I'm glad that it was good enough for you to try again. I use canned tomatoes most of the year too, they work just fine in this dish.
  6. Did you try it? I'd love to know how it turned out for you.
  7. Ok, I'm convinced. I have a chunk of wild boar in the freezer that I'm going to submit to this test. I'm not sure exactly what cut this would be called - it was shot in the street of a nearby village and the person who gave it to me called it a leg. But it's really sort of lump-shaped, so I'm going to think of it as a shoulder. I think there's still a bone in there, so that might make some timing difference. I've never cooked boar, so if anyone has advice, I'm all ears.
  8. Rob, if it's not too late, try this. When I make cioppino it has clams, mussels, and crab. But Zuppa di Pesce can be made with fillets, and this is a delicious recipe that I got a zillion years ago fro a buddy on another cooking forum. I've made it many times for clients, and it's always a huge success. * Exported from MasterCook * SUPPA DE PESCE Recipe By : Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00 Categories : Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method -------- ------------ -------------------------------- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 large onions 9 TBS extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste 2 strips lemon zest -- (3 inch) 2 or more large cloves of garlic 2 2/3 cups peeled and seeded chopped tomates One bottle of DRY white wine 2 pounds combined filleted fresh fish -- cut into bite sized pieces Bring vinegar to a lively boil, over high heat, add onions, turn heat to low and partially cover the pot. Cook until onions are soft and almost transparent, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionaly. Once the onions are soft and rosy colored, uncover the pot and let the vinegar bubble gently, stirring frequently until it evaporates. Add the oil, salt and a generous portion of ground black pepper. Slowly saute over medium low heat, uncovered until the onions turn golden, stir frequently! With the heat still at med low, stir in the lemon strips and garlic, cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes to thicken sauce. Add all of the wine and reduce by 1/3. No raw alcohol taste should remain. The flavors should be slightly sweet with a tomoto/onion backdrop, slightly tart. Taste for seasoning. Now, at this point, you might not think you have much. When you add the seafood, the character of this dish takes on a whole new dimension. His notes: I suggest, strongly, do not add more lemon strips than the recipe calls for, at least not your first time. I tried it once, I like lemon, and IMHO, ruined the dish. I would also suggest keeping the initial batch simple, cut up some halibut and shrimp, add the halibut, cook almost to done than add the shrimp, it is simple and tasty. I've added lobster to very good effect. While I love squid, it tends to make the dish too fishy mor many people. Other steak like fish work well, swordfish comes to mind. Shy away from soft fish. NO salmon, and while I like tuna, it has not worked well either. It's an awesome dish.
  9. Abra

    Recipes That Rock: 2008

    Pierogi, would you be so kind as to PM me that tomato gorgonzola recipe as well? My gorgonzola-loving son is visiting right now, so I have a good excuse to make it. If any of you have access to fresh morels, or zucchini flowers, I stuffed some of each last night, and boy were they delicious. Each stuffing had a base of breadcrumbs and bacon, but from there they were totally different. It's fussy work, stuffing tiny food, but the results are so rewarding. The recipes are in French, but let me know if you'd like them and I'll put them into English.
  10. My husband loves and adores oplatky, but we've never seen them here in france. I need to come to Prague to stock up! I've been eating waffles with yogurt and jam for I won't say how many years, but I never knew it was a Czech thing. I always thought of it as sort of hippie granola food.
  11. This is funny to me, because I thought I was the only one who cooked by ear. When I was a personal chef I often had clients tell me to feel free to listen to their stereos while cooking, and I had to explain that I needed to listen to the food. All of the above examples are great, but for me at that time, when I'd always have 4-5 things on the stove at once, there was a certain sort of symphony. I'd be listening for the balance of sounds from the pots, none sticking out too much, in order to be sure that all was going well on the stove top while I had my back turned. Foods still definitely "sound done" to me.
  12. I haven't had it since they added all that other stuff, but I thought it was great as it was. Too bad they messed with it.
  13. There's a delicious Dutch cheese called Dorothea that's supposedly made with potato peels, but I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for.
  14. Whew, I'm glad the beer turned out to be only normal in alcohol - I was wondering how you managed to get an in-focus shot outside the door of the pub after what I thought was an incredible amount of really hammerhead beer. Prague is on our list of places we hope to get to in the next year, so I'm delighted to see you blogging.
  15. It looks just like what we call cherimoya, and it's got to be one of the most delicious fruits ever. Ling, you can definitely get cherimoya in Seattle, so you can tell us if it's the same fruit.
  16. Just last week I made a little walnut cream ball to sit on top of an asparagus soup shot, using a base of fluffy cream cheese, as opposed to whipped cream. Easy as pie.
  17. Blanch the asparagus, not the zucchini! Zucchini is mostly water anyway and will get all soggy.
  18. Abra

    Pig ear

    Wow, thanks for all the typing, MizDucky! I'm not quite seeing the purpose of the feet in the dish. Is it mainly to add gelatin?
  19. Abra

    Pig ear

    I would love to try this out on some French folks, who are all for terrines, and using the odd bits, although I've never seen anything like this terrine here. Could I have a little more step-by step instructions? I've never worked with pig ears before.
  20. Jeez, I'm dying for Chinese food! Our son is in Taipei now and I sent him the link to this thread so he can follow in a few of your footsteps. That looks like one of your most delicious trips ever.
  21. Fish heads have taken on the oddest role in my life recently! Ever since I wrote this blog post the search term "fish heads" has led over 1000 people to my blog. So, to make them happy, I wrote here about fish head fascination. Then recently I started noticing that people were coming to my fish head posts from, of all places, a BBC site online. So I scurried over here only to find a whole post about fish heads, with the reference on what the French do with fish heads linking to my blog. Famous For Fishheads (although not French), maybe I should add that to my signature?
  22. It would have to be this meal at A 2 Pas du Potager in Avignon. No stars, although it's worthy of at least a bib. The food is so obviously prepared with love and good judgement, and is always exquisitely presented, and the personal attention paid to each diner by the chef is something I've never experienced anywhere else. I've been three times, and am looking forward to going again in a couple of weeks. It's where I like to take visitors, since the opportunity to be fussed over by a French chef is hard to come by, especially at prices one can actually afford.
  23. I detest CI. Every year they send me that compendium cookbook, then send me 6 or 7 bills threatening to refer me to a collection agency, no matter that a) I never ordered the damned things, b) I called and emailed umpteen times to tell them so. This year I even had to call them from France, for crying out loud. They said "well, you ordered it" and when I said "hey, I'm in France and no way did I order it, not to mention that I totally cancelled my subscription over this same crap a couple of years ago" they had the gall to say that someone staying at my house in the US must have ordered it and should send it back. And their recipes drive me mad. They try one version of a recipe, it's too salty, another's too sweet, another's too heavy, another's got 1/36 of a tsp too much baking powder, and only their special CI recipe is juuuuust riiiight. My ass. If a recipe is from CI I'd never even try it. I hate them that much.
  24. White balance, contrast, and FOCUS. The focus on that BLT is breathtaking!
  25. If you do decide to make the chorizo sausage it's a good thing to add a bit of mole, or some other form of chocolate, and hey presto, your blog title comes to life! By coincidence I too have a pork belly brining in the fridge for a wine-pairing luncheon on Saturday, although I doubt that I'll be able to work any chocolate into the mix.
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