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Posts posted by YKL

  1. umm .. didn't see it on your list already - and the season may be wrong, but for future reference - deep fried oysters (out of the shell obviously) are just delicious! I love them even though am not a huge fan of oysters au naturel ... weird I know. and if you want to continue on an oriental theme - deep fried short ribs or pork or chicken strips in a light fluffy egg batter could be really good with some home made sweet and sour sauce.

    Think someone has mentioned samosas already - but of course there are bhajis and pakoras too if you like .... try onion, eggplant or mushroom ... or a mixture!

    you mentioned snickers were not so good, but I have heard good reports for mars bars and bounty bars (coconut inside) - assuming you can get them in the States.

    and would you be prepared to experiment with marshmallows? or would they melt too quickly?

    and pineapple (tinned - don't waste teh fresh stuff) is good fried - with caramel and sesame seeds also.

    I also have a terrible weakness for scotch eggs .... but accept that makes me a bit of a freak.

    Happy frying!

  2. By this point the pub was filling up again with regulars, the classical music was replaced with kylie and beyonce and a dance area was established with yours truly strutting his stuff  :biggrin:

    Wow! am not sure if I should be scared or impressed by the above fact - I had a stupendous lunch at the Star Inn earlier that afternoon and we were all so stuffed afterwards that we could barely stand up!! it was all we could do to stagger to the garden seats at the back and enjoy the unseasonable sunshine!

    Was my first visit, and even though it took me an hour to drive from Leeds - was most enjoyable and seemed to have convinced my friends they should donate stomach space to my new year's resolution - i.e. eating in better restaurants. We now have a hit list for West / North Yorkshire .... and I think I might do alright for sticking to the resolutions this year



  3. Am hoping for some help here. Have found an old Margaret Costa recipe I want to try, but it gives a weight for fresh yeast (something mad sounding like 1 oz - but will double check!). However - I tend to work with those packets of fast action dried yeast you can buy in UK supermakrets - about 7g each - so my question is - how do I convert fresh into dried equivalent?

    I don't have scales to measure such minute amounts so I guess I'm looking for answers in the form of teaspoon measures perhaps? Or am I being hopelessly optimistic?

    With grateful thanks


  4. This isn't the first time that Gordon Ramsay has done a makeover on a wannabee chef.

    There was a programme called "Faking It" a few years ago in which a burger flipper had to pass himself off as a chef -- at a much higher standard of cuisine and customer -- and had about a month to retrain himself. Gordon was one of the retrainers.

    I remember that programme as one of the best bits of TV I've seen in a long time, and whilst I enjoyed last night's programme, still preferred the Faking It one because I empathised so much more with the young chap. I seem to remember that he wouldn't say boo to a goose, and had real self confidence issues. To see his transformation through commitment, hard work and real support was marvellous - loved it when he actually won the competition!

    On the other hand, I wanted to stick that Tim's head into the disgusting deep fat fryer - repeatedly. Still good television though and am looking forward to the next programme :smile:

  5. YKL,

    Are these the same as zong zi? Yum.

    Think so .... but only from some random googling. :biggrin:

    My version is Hakka, and although I don't speak mandarin, that is plausible. If I'm lucky - someone wise will give me a proper name and maybe even idiot proof instructions to make them since I have never really seen them for sale anywhere.

  6. ditto everything mentioned,

    I like the sentiment - especially now I've googled and know what silver queen white corn, muscadines and scuppernongs are! (scuppernongs might be my new favourite word!)

    But the main reason for this additional post is to correct the most glaring omission for an annual treat - BIRTHDAY CAKE!! Stephanie Plum would never forgive me.

    And also those chinese glutinous rice dumplings my mother used to make, the filling was either lentils and belly pork and wind dried sausage, or peanuts - all covered in glutinous rice, wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied with string and then boiled to cook. Incredibly labour intensive (for my Mum) but so yummy for me! Don't know what the transliteration name is - I know them as "Jung" or "Gor Jung". Have some vague recollection that they may be to do with the dragon boat festival?

  7. Well now that it's finally starting to warm up here in the UK, it means that the prospect of spring and summer vegetables is so much closer. And so a thought occurred to me over the weekend as I was enjoying my Jersey Royals - the principle of eating with the seasons is a well known foundation for good eating and cooking, but what foods are the most eagerly anticipated year to year for everyone?

    I'm such a glutton that I have a number - including the aforementioned Jerseys, but what about fresh asparagus (not too long now), summer strawberries, Indian alphonse mangoes and even that first home made mince pie - which shows Xmas is not far away.

    Apologies if this is an old topic for egullet - I did try and search for it but didn't find anything specific.



  8. forgot to say - I think they're in the process of getting a third chef trained up. So hopefully that will reduce the preposterous working hours of Tony at the moment (19 hours according to a previous post?), and even more importantly, expedite the arrival of a full tasting menu.

    My stomach awaits!

  9. Just want to say that I ventured into Anthony's on Sat lunchtime for a self indulgent lunch as a sole diner, and was certainly not disappointed! I'm not able to write a poetic description or review of the food in the way others have, but will give a summary shortly.

    The restaurant was actually very quiet, I think Olga explained that whilst they were busy most evenings, particularly towards the end of the week, most people had not cottoned onto the fact that they open on Sat lunchtimes also. So, for any who may be struggling to get a reservation in the evenings, Sat lunchtime could be the way forward!

    I have to say it worked in my favour since when I mentioned that I'd heard of the restaurant via egullet and Gary Marshall's rave reviews, that seemed to be some sort of magic password which meant that I was treated to some tasty treats which one would not normally get at lunchtime. I honestly did try to explain that I didn't actually know GM since I only joined egullet a month ago, but I think that with a quiet service, the chef reckoned I was fair game as a culinary guinea pig - and how right he was!

    So what did I have? Well, part of the special service was that I was given a pre-starter which looked like it could be the upside down guiness that we've heard so much about. However Olga (who along with Andrea are just simply lovely lovely people!) explained that it was slightly different, with more of a caramel base? Was deliciously rich, sweet without being cloying. And also magically soothed my sore throat. What more could I want? I chose the pig's cheek on jerusalem artichoke as a starter, and it arrived beautifully presented as a huge nugget of sweetly dark and tender meat, balanced on a little mound of shredded and creamy artichokle - what almost looked like remoulade, and very yummy (like I said - not one for the words).

    They have a clever trick with the bread, which is that the flavour is provided by varieties of butter (unsalted, parmesan and salmon in my case) rather than different kinds of bread. Suited me fine, when the bread manages to be light and fluffy inside, and with a crust that is crispy and chewy at the same time - why would I want to be distracted by anything else? For the record, the parmesan butter was my favourite - for the way the flavour came through at the end as an unexpected surprise note. It made me want to try it at home - clearly I expect to fail miserably and so will need to go back to get my fix! :smile:

    Was given a pre-main course treat as well - confit of duck with a chocolate froth / sauce. I may have looked dubious but there was no cause to be - since the meat was tender, juicy and the chocolate was an intriguing note in the background rather than a dominant force. If that ever appears on the menue as a main course - that's what I want!! My actual main was the salmon with potato consomee which ticked all the boxes.

    Umm .... and yes I stayed for dessert and coffee as well. So, the next gift from the kitchen was a pre-dessert of (I think) a cinder toffee powder with szechuan pepper, and a pineapple sorbet. First you have some powder, then some sorbet, and repeat until the dish is clean. My tastes buds weren't sharp enough to detect the szechuan pepper, but the pineapple sorbet was fab - clean, fresh and tart. I was definitely a fan, and I don't even normally like pineapple!

    Couldn't choose between the apple tarte tatin and the chocolate fondant as dessert (and yes, I did considering ordering both!) - but Andrea steered me towards the latter, and it was a fine choice. It is a good thing that others have waxed lyrical about it - I scoffed it so quickly I wouldn't be able to even try and describe it for you all!

    So - that's how greedy I was on Sat lunchtime, and I have every intention of being back. Have been in Leeds for a long time now, and it's nice to know that we have such an exciting addition to the restaurant choices. Will be watching with interest.

    Oh dear - only meant to write a quick note - but look what happened. Still, it was fun for me to relive anyway!



  10. Add nine more for me. 

    From the Williams-Sonoma Savoring series:

        Spain & Portugal




    The Oxford Companion to Food

    A New Way to Cook by Schneider

    The Whole Beast

    Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating

    Are You Really Going to Eat that by Walsh

    Is anyone else a fan of the Savoring books from Williams-Sonoma?  I've had dishes from several of the books and they've been home runs every time.  They're a bit of a pain because of their size, but I love them so far.

    It almost seems a shame that a weighty tome like Alan Davidson's Oxford Companion to Food only counts as one book!

    Maggie - have bought another 3 books recently, and would have been four were it not for some superhuman feat of self restraint that stopped me from buying one of the best titled books I have ever seen - called "Everything Tastes Better with Bacon"

  11. think you may have enough suggestions already but if not - Elizabeth David has a classic flourless chocolate cake (using ground almonds I think) - which Jill Dupleix amended by doubling the chocolate content! Very rich, yet still melt in the mouth. and if you want a rich topping, how about a home made chocolate mousse?

    Have used the mousse as a filling for a chocolate roulade (so again flourless), along with some whipped cream and cherries - it's a classic Delia Smith recipe - try www.deliaonline.com

    Another suggestion (although have not made it myself yet) - is nigella lawson's chocolate cloud cake - from How to be a Domestic Goddess? Certainly the photo looks good.

    Hope this helps - must admit that I am not sure if any of this counts as low carb so good luck - and happy birthday!

  12. agree that most medical matters are best left at the hospital rather than being brought to the table - or at least the ones that involve blood, guts, gore or other bodily fluids and matter. Work can be pretty dull if it goes on all evening ....

    However, the trick is surely to distract the rest of your dining companions with an "interesting" topic ... so that you can scoff and hoover up the rest of the food on the table without anyone noticing! :biggrin:

  13. I am another happy solo cook ... the way I see it, I love food and cooking and am not going to deprive myself of yummy (well, to my tastes anyway!) food just because of a lack of stomachs or dining companions! Agree that it's a chance to cook things just the way I like it, and I only have my mess and chaos to clear up! In fact, the chance to potter in the kitchen for 45 mins, with great music in the background feels quite self indulgent after a day at work - and all for me! :smile:

    Have not had time to read all of Bond Girl's eCGI class - but will be printing off shortly, but am afraid my contribution will be much less expert, but would like to share anyway.

    So what I do eat / cook? Well pasta of some form is a good standby, which could be spaghetti with garlic and chilli, maybe with a few prawns or rocket leaves or spinach leaves chucked in for colour and substance. Could be penne with ladles of home made tomato sauce, perhaps with oven roasted veg (aubergine, courgette, peppers, red onion, etc). And whilst Nigella Lawson is not my favourite cook book writer, think she is quite right in saying that she tries not to be without the ingredients for carbonara at any time - I mean, you do always have bacon / pancetta, eggs and parmesan in the house?! I know I try to. Or just pesto on pasta ... with roasted tomatoes and onions on the side

    Or maybe as the weather warms up, some form of substantial salad. Ok, maybe not proper cooking but have had many a great supper with a bag of mixed salad leaves with toppings such as crispy fried bacon, slices of avocado, chicken bits (maybe in some honey & mustard marinade) either grilled or fried, or chicken livers, garlic croutons, juicy anchovies, poached salmon fillet. And without necessarily going down the whole nicoise route, green beans and new potatoes (especially now that jersey royals are nearly here!) are a great addition to any salad in my opinion.

    chinese food always seems to be a good source for sole dining, bowls of noodles or freshly steamed rice are always going to win me over. I admit that maybe not everyone is lucky enough to have a mother like mine, who came to visit my flat for the first time a few weeks back, and insisted on cooking a vat of chicken and shitake mushroom casserole so that it could be frozen for future consumption. But even so, if you have garlic, ginger, hot oil in a work, soy sauce and oyster sauce, and a sense of adventure with your meat and vegetables, tasty stir fries are a good stand by. How about chicken with mangetout and sweet corn, beef with peppers and chilli or black bean sauce?

    Or to make it really simple, Elizabeth David sums it up when extolling the virtues of an omelette and a glass of wine!

    If we were to bring in winter ideas as well, then home made soups are fab. And they can be much easier to adjust recipe wise to scale down, and generally freeze really well.

    Think the underlying thread in all of this (apart from my greed!) is that some "recipes" lend themselves to adaptation more easily than others. i.e. that I think most food can be adapted to have more of what I like, and less of the bits I don't - and so if it's too much bother to reduce the ingredient to e.g. a qtr of half a teaspoon of some spice, or only 1/2 stick of celery, well I can either leave it out or just make bigger amounts - which saves cooking later.

    So, no, I certainly don't see solo cooking as a chore. It's a joy ... at least unless George Clooney comes to his sense and realises I am the woman of his dreams! :wink:

    gotta go get lunch now, am feeling very hungry all of a sudden!

  14. This thread has been torturing and delighting me over recent weeks so finally got to No 3 York Place on Friday with a friend, and had a very civilised evening indeed (starting with champagne on a bank holiday weekend usually does that!)

    We'd decided to eat early to take advantage of the early bird type deal, so at £18.50 for three courses - this was stunning value - in fact it was practically free! Food was as impressively executed as I'd been led to believe - our starters were the veloute of cauliflower and ham hock terrine with celeriac remoulade.

    Then onto loin of beef with pomme puree, and chicken on spinach and truffle oil risotto. Must have been good because even the waiter commented on very clean plates (well, shopping does give you an appetite!)

    The lovely waiting staff gave us a bit of rest before we asked for dessert of chocolate souffle with milk ice cream and vanilla cream with red fruits. Again - marvellous but why didn't anyone tell me that the portions were so generous?! Despite the lightness of the souffle, could only manage the top 2 inches ... And this despite my long standing belief that humans have a separate stomach for desserts so there should always be enough room.

    in fact the only part I didn't think was such a hit was the raspberry cream pre-dessert. But only because the texture was a little too reminiscent of blancmange for my tastes.

    We had intended to eat early and then head off elsewhere for the evening, but ended up spending pretty much all evening there. All quite marvellous and intend to be heading back soon. In fact, I commented to my friend that in future, if I had a bad day at work and a(nother) crap drive home up the M42 and M1, then I might not be able to resist scuttling through the door for just a simple course or two off the ALC. Any excuse eh?!

  15. If you are seeking culture in Leeds in addition to the food then you could try catching a play at the West Yorkshire Playhouse? Try http://www.wyplayhouse.com

    Agree with Mr Marshall (is that too formal?) that York would be fun for a day visit, but you could also go to Harrogate for Betty's tea rooms or the Turkish Baths (if they've reopened yet - but they are marvellous!) for some pampering.

    Salts Mill (with the Hockney pictures, great Home shop and nice Diner / Cafe) is only 15 mins by local train from Leeds station too - and is quite possibly one of my favourite places in Yorkshire.

    Hope this helps - could go on for hours but am trying to be restrained.



  16. would be very pleasing and flattering to know that it could be a slogan for the forum - but could we promise to avoid all forms of novelty teapots?

    still on subject of dunking, have a vague recollection of some trick that Natalie Umbruglia (if that's the right spelling) did on a Graham Norton show which involved a penguin biscuit (or something similar). Process was that it was bitten off at two opposing corners, and then when dunked, you sort of suck up the hot tea through the biscuit (like a straw) and then as the hot tea hits your tongue, you whip out the biscuit and cram it all in your mouth. Keep meaning to try this but again ... no biscuits in the house!

    must go and experiment .....

  17. Sadly am too far from London to join in the next Burger Club expedition, so am having to console myself with other forms of comfort food.

    Which got me thinking about how a nice cup of tea always seems to fix things. But somehow I seem to have fallen out of the habit of having a biccie or two with my tea ... now how did that happen?

    I remember the days when it was an honour thing to make your rich tea finger as saturated as possible without actually losing it in your mug, a time when I hunted for the best choc chip cookies where the choc bits would melt but the rest of the cookie stayed intact. and there were bourbons, custard creams, and my dad had a thing about wafer biscuits (can you even buy these anymore?!) .. but obviously not jammy dodgers since that would be sacrilege.

    Pete Kay had an excellent sketch about how chocolate hob nobs were the SAS of tea biscuits since they were able to withstand repeated dunking in scalding hot tea, with not a crumb lost.

    So am I only the one who's lost this habit? have we all moved to latte and biscotti? In fact I only have biscuits in nowadays to feed plumbers or builders etc - but even that doesn't seem to be the same as it used to be.

    There may be another explanation - i.e. that actually a nice wedge of cake seems to be a better choice nowadays!

    Any thoughts?

  18. No, peanut butter and jam does not translate well in Western Europe.

    I eventually got used to peanut butter and jam sandwiches when I realised that's what american pen pal meant by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! As a Brit, what I call jelly I think the US call Jell-O? the idea of some lurid green wobbly gelatinous stuff on bread was way too freaky for me!

  19. um ... my mishap is not strictly food related but was at one of the family Christmas dinners ... all because we wanted our bubbly nicely chilled ...

    so when my sisters and I realised we'd forgotten to put it in the fridge (lack of space with all the other festive foodstuff), we decided to stick it in the freezer ... overnight.

    *SIGH* ... you can imagine it - elderly parents sat patiently at table with smoked salmon starters, saying yes, a small glass of champagne would go down nicely. Daughter decides to do the honours by removing bottle from freezer and proceeding to open it. Now because we're not "stupid" (!) and we don't want to waste any, I do the trick of holding the cork down with one hand and twisting bottle from the base.

    What happened next was not so much a gentle sigh as the pressure is released, as a huge "bleep bleep" jet of frozen champage shot out, going all over parents, dinner and the whole room as I was unable to control the force... bit like a fireman's hose at full blast. As I tried to shut it down by putting one hand over the top, found that it was too powerful to be stopped, and actually my fingers created some sort of spray head effect - just to make sure no-one escaped.

    Christmas - it's what it's all about ... :smile:

    Also seem to remember my sister telling me of a friend who made home made scotch eggs ... totally yummy except he forgot to peel the eggs first!


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