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johnnyd

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Everything posted by johnnyd

  1. Ohhh... Poor Chef Shogun! He's mixed Cachaca with Yukon Jack!!! Holy Hannah, you are going to suffer... I don't expect to hear from you for a day or two, but when you come to, keep to the lime/sugar regimen for your caipirinhas (to get the authentic deal) before you try other components. Good luck!
  2. Before the area got out of hand (70's), we used to go to Joe's Stone Crab. It's been there since 1913 and they have their own crab harvesting boats. It's definitely old-school Florida. One of my favourite restaurants in the world.
  3. johnnyd

    Cachaça

    I cut a half lime into tiny dice, put superfine sugar and a splash of water. Muddle and let sit for a few minutes. This allows a good blend of flavors. Bust a couple ice cubes in a towell, add and stir, then fill (rocks glass) with cachaca. They used to say in Brasil that the best caipirinhas are given a final stir by the finger of a big, black bartender. I guess you could say that back in the sixties... Cachaca infusions? Hmmm! At any rate, it's friday and I'm making one of these delicious caipirinhas right now!
  4. johnnyd

    Avocadoes

    A dessert in Brasil that I loved as a kid there was "Creme de Abacate". Basically, Avocado pureed with lime juice and sugar, served in a stemmed glass. Sounds crazy, but avocados were the size of your head down there, and resemble the lighter flavour of the Florida variety, so it definitely worked. Different, eh?
  5. johnnyd

    Cachaça

    Pitu works fine for me. It lacks that certain aroma I could only describe as sugar cane husk that comes from the smaller batches. Kind of Agave-like but more subtle. Go buy it next time your close to that place and have a shot right out of the bottle. If you can still type, post a review!
  6. The Thai Sweet Chili sauce I use is MAE PLOY. We go through a bottle a month! Tommy: I should send YOU a 10spot for not realizing you make your own sriracha, dee-yam!
  7. Don't worry! You're among friends... BTW: I'll see your canned tuna/vegies/beans, but pickles and pecan pie rule...
  8. It depends on... A) ...their host environment, whether it was calm water flats or active tidal water, which determine the muscle's ability to keep the shell tight. B) Post-harvest abuse. Wide temperature swings freak them out during transportation and they will spoil faster. Oysters are very resilient however. I did some experimenting as a full-time oyster shucker. I wanted to see how long they really did last and how flavor deteriorates. Among my findings: - If they are kept away from freshwater, and flat, they hold on to their liqour for over a week. After about eight or nine days the flavour falls off and they start to dry up. - The less one moves them, the longer they last. - Keep temperature constant. 35 to 40*F is fine Sometimes business was slow and I couldn't sell out my weekly inventory so I put a mess of them in 3 net bags and dropped them in a cove out here in Casco Bay to see how long they would last. I was aware that the salt/fresh water ratio was very different than the rafts they grew on in the Damariscotta River, but I was curious anyway (BTW: I never offered these for sale and continued buying weekly from my certified supplier). I checked on them every couple of days and the next weekend opened a few. They were pretty good but saltier. Might make a good stew I thought. The next week I returned to my stash and found all the oysters in the big bag had died because I didn't leave them enough room to open their shells and "breathe". $100 down the drain... I left quickly because I had customers back at the marina (this is a mobile oyster bar on a lobsterboat) and when I returned next day, all three bags were gone, freakin' stolen! In their place was a string of lobster traps so I put together the chain of events in a hurry and moved on.
  9. johnnyd

    caesar dressing

    I've made it this way for 35 years. I have been known to use some tobasco. I'm on my 2nd wooden bowl,but my original fork and spoon that is curved past the factory specs,by me,on purpose still survives. I take 2 large garlic clove,2 anchovi fillets and a few pinches of sea salt and grind to a paste with my fork and spoon....one handed operation....one crushes the other cuts, works well.Add an egg yolk,dry mustard and work into the mass.Equal parts lemon and red wine vinegar,some worchestershire and drizzle in the olive oil and grated parm.Tumble in some romaine hearts,homemade croutons,more parm......for 2 people. The difference still is that my method sees the romaine in the bowl with egg only, then toss to coat. The reasoning was that if the romaine was properly coated with egg yolk, everything you put in afterwards sticks to the coated greens better. The dressing is deconstructed into stages per ingredient, or, in effect, one makes the dressing around the greens instead of puting the greens in a finished mixture. It's crazy I guess. I like your ingredients - trying it soon.
  10. Welcome Dejah. Soo's looked like it was a joy to have, but I detect relief in your retirement. The menus on the website made me hungry! Your pictures are terrific. What camera are you using? Is that a dollop of black bean paste in the middle of that amazing wonton soup? Thank you for sharing the week ahead with your friends at eGullet. Johnnyd
  11. johnnyd

    caesar dressing

    From these posts I can't tell if the method I learned is old hat or new to the crowd: When I was Garde Manger many years ago I was told to whisk up an eggyolk in one of those giant steel bowls, put half a head of torn romaine in and toss until coated. Add a dash or three of Worcestershire, the juice of half a lemon, grate a reasonable amount of parm (probably an ounce) from this huge brick we had, throw in small handful of house-made croutons. Toss again til coated. Plate at once, apply three anchovy in a star pattern on top, fresh ground pepper at table. I might have missed something but I think that was it. the one-minute caeser. Anyone?
  12. You just like that crazy pharting sound that nozzle makes on the rebound, dontcha?! But seriously folks, I'm with naguere: the fresher the better. I've been grinding my own barbecue spices lately and the difference is humongous.
  13. The cost to produce a reasonable "Poire" will keep it north of forty bucks to be sure, as well as the other eaux-de-vie. Some producers in Suisse also attach a bottle to a pear tree branch so the fruit grows inside the bottle. These novelties sell for about $75. I see the Mt. Hood operation does it too. Kirsch is a must to reproduce authentic cheese fondue. Just a deciliter in the mixture seems to pull it altogether. It adds to certain desserts as well. Pfumliwasser (Plum eau-de-vie) is my favorite and ended many a meal with coffee and dessert. It is also sold in tiny bottles slope-side in ski resorts so you can "warm-up" on the lift. It's delicious. Framboise gives me a headache, but a tiny sip with coffee and chocolate dessert is irresistable.
  14. I probably missed you but these are the guys who supplied my lobsterboat oyster bar: Mook Sea Farm, Inc Bill Mook 321 State Route 129 Walpole, ME 04573 Ph 207-586-1456 Fax 586-5244 Outstanding quality oysters. A couple of Guinness or a bottle of sancerre to go with 'em. I hear there are others in the river doing a bang-up job as well. Enjoy!
  15. You are exactly right, Stephen. A high-output operation sacrifices quality of product. My concern was more towards getting Vermont Chevre, for example, into the hands of the uninitiated. I want to see it receive equal billing on supermarket shelves nationwide, alongside top cheeses from Wisconsin, California, and Rick Martin's place. It's always been my theory that a choice of better quality ingredients available to the population would improve the american diet. Since this means compromises that probably shrink the profit margins, we'll not see an effort from food conglomerates anytime soon. It's up to those at a local level.
  16. I have a bottle of tiparos too but it's three years old. According to the table of condiments it only lasts five months. Is this true? I've tasted a few bottles with a salt cake too. Are they over a year old? I think it tastes fine and does to the dish what I want it to do, but I wonder.
  17. Vermont Dairy products are perceived as high quality because they simply are high quality. The soil and climate are just right for the necessary conditions for production but sadly not enough at this point to become anywhere near a top producer. THAT is what I would be happy to hear: that one day, the public consciousness towards cheese would involve a choice between artisinal cheeses and not between a Kraft product and another Kraft product. In review, I have no business stirring up the pot (as it were) because I haven't tried many cheeses other than locally crafted and imports. There, I've said it! I yield further discussion to one who lives and breathes surrounded by Vermont Artisnal Cheesemakers, the right honourable GGMora. [applause][/applause] Incidentally, Ben Cohen and his pal Jerry got the ice cream bug from a book on how to make ice cream, but his ingredients, Vermont-made until about the fifteenth or so year, made it a hit.
  18. Popcorn! Ate too much as a kid once ("All You Can Eat" anyone?!!) Farenheit 9/11 was my first trip to the movies in about fifteen years. If I walk into a place thats making popcorn, theatre or bar, I have to leave. I did like a bowl once that was served with grated cheese, melted butter, paprika and herbs... that was okay...
  19. I am just short of gassing up and going there. I love the champlain islands. And Margo's menu is making me hungry
  20. I am also a UVM alumni, and came there from Switzerland, so I know my cheese. Loved the location and the spirit of the place so much I ended up staying in Burlington for 17 years. Ever the enthusiast when it comes to things culinary, I followed closely the struggle of artisnal cheese making while there as well as other local food ventures, some of these folks were my friends. Now I have lived in Maine for ten years and I'm constantly disappointed at the quality of local cheese... until this year. See Marion Burros article in NYT Dining/Style "Say Cheese, and New England Smiles", June 23, 04 to learn how much progress has been made. Vermont Cheesemakers are a dominant player in this regard, and no, it's not a stretch. The new UVM program will meld the solid Agricultural Foundation upon which the school was founded in the 18th century, with the determination of an educated, well-traveled, local population and very soon Vermont Cheese will beat the spores off any other state's cheese that it doesn't leave behind already... like Maine.
  21. Harbor Fish Market in Portland had Damariscottas (the best) for $1.20, Winterpoints @ $1.10, Spinney Creeks for 0.95, and Pepperel Cove (PEI) for 0.90 each. Price is ten cents less if over one dozen purchased and yes, they ship. The PEI's have been out of the water the longest. Dams are the ultimate oyster. Littlenecks and countnecks were 0.60ea, a dime less if over a dozen. Avoid ones that appear to be mating with the mahogany clams, the flesh isn't as firm or sweet. I was in there yesterday and these prices are good until tonight. Harbor Fish products are fresher than restaurant fare so start driving, wherever you are...
  22. johnnyd

    Anchovies

    Anchovy Paste out of a tube is a godsend. Nothing wrong with it. Keeps well, easy to add as an ingredient as opposed to mashing up the little bastards for sauce and dressings, and very portable for picnics. Amore makes it, and tomato paste in a tube too. Forget the garlic paste, it's a travesty of a mockery of a sham... edited to add web source
  23. I find that if you don't layer on towelling of some sort, they are too wet to roll. If you have the old wraps and the processed filling still, try rolling 'em up using a cornstarch and water "sealer" to keep them closed, then deep fry them!
  24. johnnyd

    Anchovies

    Anchovies rock. I as well roast my own red peppers but I just cannot even wait until they are cool before I lay a couple anchovies on 'em. A topping for sliced baguette starts many a picnic for me. One of my favorite pairings of all time. Someone is brining them locally(Portland ME), I think. They are sold in plastic deli 1/2-heights and are white. Milder than canned varieties. Must be what you guys are picking up at your local deli too, no? From the Basque Country Anchovy adventure: WHOA!!!
  25. Actually, a bowl of Caldo Verde w/poached egg and chorizo bits is one of my favourite breakfasts in cold weather. Hit's all the buttons and everything's fresh and honest. I wouldn't add the chili unless the Chorizo is from a package as fresh-made usually has a good piquancy on it's own. Now I'm getting hungry....
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