Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Abra

  1. We just had a wonderful lunch at La Table du Sommelier right in the center of Gaillac, near the Maison des Vins. During the week they have a menu of starter and main, or main and dessert, for 13 Euros, which is a screaming deal considering the level of the cooking. Plus they have a really nice selection of wines by the glass, and they sell wine by the case if you fall in love with the glass you had at lunch. I put some pictures of my duck salad and symphony of fish with fennel, as well as some comments on wine making in the region here on French Letters. I didn't get a look at the dinner menu, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone, any time. The food and wine were super, and the people were very nice.
  2. Although I haven't made sausages in France, I'm a reasonably experienced sausage maker in the US. Since I've been living in France the best cut I've found for the fat content of terrine is gorge de porc, and that's what I'd use for sausages where I wanted to keep the piece integrity, instead of the homogeneous texture offered by the chair à saucisse. I'd say you're best off with échine plus gorge, and I'd nix the filet. You really don't want any dry lean meat in the mix or you're liable to get crumbly sausage. So I'd try maybe 70% échine, 30% gorge, or maybe toss in 10% poitrine instead of part of the others. That ought to get you started, and then you can adjust the balance to your liking.
  3. I'm curious about how you managed to order, since it sounds like you don't speak either Thai or Vietnamese. Do street vendors know any English? Does everybody recognize you right away as American, or where to they think you're from?
  4. As always, Bryan, I love your travelogues. And I have to say (again) that I love the way your family does all this stuff together. It makes for a very cool package.
  5. Has anyone made the short rib pastrami on Ruhlman's website? I have it brining now for cooking tomorrow (he basically uses the corned beef brine from Charcuterie) but he did his on the grill, then finished it in the oven, whereas I want to at least start mine on the smoker. If anyone's tried the recipe I'd love to hear about it.
  6. I love molasses, and I love all these ideas. Now all we need here is some favorite recipes!
  7. Madeleine = Mahd-lenn Grenobloise = greuh-no-blwahz approximately, but that particular e sound doesn't really exist in English, it's a little shorter than our eh sound edited to add: the pronunciation of millefeuille is another that can't be easily compared to English, but fuh-eye (as above) is definitely not it. I'd go with meel-foy-ee before I'd say meel-fuh-eye, knowing that that's not exactly it either, but it's a lot closer. If you can pronounce the word oeil in French, the feuille sound is almost exactly the same.
  8. I have to say that the single best thing (not including friends) about being back in America for the summer is having my smoker back! I've already done chicken and salmon, next up: butt. I wouldn't use oak to smoke with, though. It's pretty acrid. Fruit wood is best, and me, I use cherry.
  9. I'll be the one to ask: why would you want your food to taste like dirt???
  10. Abra

    24 Hours of Cooking

    Sounds wildly fun! There's only one part I don't get...the suit and tie.
  11. Dorie, since I'm living between France and the US, as you are, could you tell me what flours you use for which applications in France? It's the single thing that makes it hardest to use American recipes, and although I guess at it, the results aren't always reliable. The simplest thing, like a brownie or a muffin, can be completely transformed/ruined by the differences in the flour. Just a note on "kitchen witches" - try having your oven calibrated and see if that helps. It's amazing how often home ovens are significanlty off temp.
  12. Abra

    Liquid diet

    I like that peanut butter idea, if you can get peanut butter. How about banana, peanut butter, and milk? Are you allowed to live in Japan and be allergic to rice and soy???
  13. I'm sorry that I didn't see this thread in time, but if you do go back, don't forget to mention that you're an artist. Your medium is pastry, for others it's the savory side, but a lot of people are in it because they're artists and their medium is food. As with lots of the other arts, expressing your creativity (through food) is a hell of a way to make a decent living. But that doesn't make the impulse less valid.
  14. Since there's been discussion here about whether French Letters is still in business, let me say that we're spending the summer in the US and I'm blogging French Letters Visits America. Then in September we'll go back to France for another year, and of course French Letters will be going with us. A blog (in English) that I really like and haven't seen mentioned here is La Tartine Gourmande.
  15. I read Saveurs, but I actually prefer Cuisine et Vins. It has a lot of recipes that appeal to me, and they are well-tested.
  16. Great idea, nickrey, to search Google images, and I feel like an idiot for not having thought of it myself. However, having waded through 65 pages of images using various combinations of the words on the label, I conclude that it's not there. I guess it's not something I'm going to be able to find online. What I need is a friend on Java!
  17. Thanks, nickrey, but it's not what you linked to, although I appreciate the translation of what I provided before! The other (miniscule) writing on the label says: kacang lombok gula garam and something illegible and maybe, because it's not printed too clearly, blitar jawa timur and a bunch of numbers
  18. A friend brought me back a cube of peanut sauce base from Indonesia, and I was completely blown away by the complex flavors, especially in comparison to any other peanut sauce I've tried. Here's what it says on the label "sambel pecel java rasa maron pedas." Does anyone know if I can get this exact sauce online somewhere? Google's not helping me out.
  19. Abra

    Mei Fun with a twist

    Also, to get longer noodles, be sure to cut the squash lengthwise, if you're cutting it at all. Me, I just pierce the squash several times all over with a sharp knife tip then cook it whole in the microwave. You do need to turn it over halfway through, but other than that, it's dead easy, and I like the technique because no part of the squash gets dried out.
  20. I just bring the meat to a simmer in hot water or broth, then turn the pot off, cover it, and let it sit for about 45 minutes before shredding it with two forks or my fingertips. The secret is to poach the meat very gently, not fry or bake it, and to pull the meat fibers apart lengthwise.
  21. Abra

    Ramps: The Topic

    I was thinking that ramps are the same thing as l'ail des ours, which I'm about to get a bunch of and use for a little cooking contest. But y'all are talking about using the bulb, which I think is not eaten with l'ail des ours. Does anybody know if it's the same plant?
  22. Abra


    Chocolatrice sounds fine so long as you don't pronounce it chocolate rice, which I imagine many people would. Basically you can use any word you want, but if you want to do as the French do (and I'm not sure why you would) it's chocolatier.
  23. Abra


    Even if you don't read a lot of French, you can look here and see that this woman is referred by a French TV station to as a pâtissier-chocolatier. That's common usage, as far as I know.
  24. That garniture Choisy sounded so delicious that I looked it up, trying to find a precise recipe. This one sounds like just what you describe, except that the filling isn't stuffed into the lettuce. Other than that, does this look like yours? I want to try this one for sure.
  25. Abra


    In theory any name of a profession that ends in ier can be feminized by using ière instead, but in the case where the word chocolatière is already used to mean a special pot for hot chocolate, you're bound to engender confusion. Although the French are making progress withthis, there are still a lot of instances where the language insists that the professions be called by a name in the masculine.
  • Create New...