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Everything posted by carp

  1. carp

    Per Se

    When is the effin' Times going to run the review? What the eff are they waiting for? Eric Ziebold interview in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2004Aug24.html
  2. And there you have it... I feel that if management cannot maintain a clean restroom, they are probably unable to maintain a kitchen clean enough to earn my money. Our academic achievement group arranged several tours of fine-dining establishments around the area, and I found this to be the case. In every place where I thought the kitchen was not up to standards, I also discovered a restroom that was, to put it mildly, disheveled. Now... if you know people are coming to look you over, does it matter that they aren't the health inspector? Could Ya Clean Up A Little?!? **this rant officially over** Anyone else read Excerpts from Gluttony at Table #1? http://egullet.com/?pg=ARTICLE-gluttony11 The owner of The Beet used to meticulously clean the bathroom for this very reason. Beware the clean restroom...
  3. I'll admit that you caught me on a good week. Usually I wouldn't let others in on my secret shame as usually this list would be populated by one good restaurant and 2 hideous choices that would out me as an indiscriminate eater of anything that will sit long enough for me to take a stab at with my fork... Fujian in Walnut Creek (Spencer, the very best raw fish man I know) Vatran's Flying Sausages in San Leandro (Peter Vatran makes excellent roast beef, incredible braises, wonderful soups... and he is the one-and-only Sausage Sage... the Delacroix of Delicatessen) Picasso in Las Vegas (million$ of dollar$ worth of Picassos... oh, yeah and they serve food, too...)
  4. carp

    Toaster Pig

    Someone recently showed me a Pampered Chef catalog that had toaster cooking bags for sale. You're supposed to be able to put whatever fits in the bags and cook it in the toaster (toaster vegetables en papillote?). It seemed like a totally dumb-ass idea to me at the time... but maybe I was wrong?
  5. Several months ago I saw the episode of "Into the Fire (ItF)" that featured the Bellagio. It has haunted me... so last weekend I went to Picasso and had a great meal, but everything is done so smoothly at the Bellagio that I didn't get to see any of the enormous food service operation featured in ItF. Next time I go to Las Vegas what are my chances of getting a behind-the-scenes look at the Bellagio foodservice underworld?
  6. I love rice vinegar. It is one of my goto vinegars. I use it often and in many different applications. It’s great. I like the mild soft flavors. It can be used wherever you need a vinegar (except for pickling… it isn’t acidic enough). I splash it on stirfrys, asian soups, salads, everything, etc… A favorite application is vinaigrettes where it does a great job of bringing together dressing flavors whenever you don’t want a more harshly acidic vinegar. Of course I also like to use more assertively acidic and pungent vinegars, like sherry, but rice wine is often just what I need to liven up a dish without making it too obvious that I added vinegar.
  7. Although I definitely appreciate a nice lavatory, I wish restaurants would, at the very least, concentrate on providing diners with the bare minimum at all times: running water, paper towels, and soap. As someone who likes to wash their hands before eating, this is usually all I am looking for in a restaurant bathroom... everything else is gravy.
  8. I completely agree with shopping for different things in different stores. It makes me seem like a freak to go to three or more places to get all I need. But I really think I not only get better prices but fresher products, often of the same brands. Because of their lower prices I think Smart and Final stores move eggs and dairy very quickly so they are a lot more fresh than at the other grocery chains. Trader Joe’s moves a good deal of dairy and because they are more convenient I often go there when I can’t hit the S&F. The S&F doesn’t have a lot of good cheese so for that I’ll go to TJ’s. Costco has good prices on milk, but they don’t generally carry heavy cream and they don’t always have unsalted butter, which is the only way I buy it. The local grocery stores (albertson’s and safeway) have terrible prices on eggs and the dairy products I buy and some of their eggs show pack dates weeks older than the eggs at either TJ’s, S&F or Costco. I don’t usually check pack dates on dairy, but I suspect their story is similar. I will go to the albertson’s and safeway only to get stuff where fresh doesn’t matter as much and the prices are competitive or I don’t want to purchase in volume. I go to the highfalutin markets, a butcher shop, or costco for my meat, fresh poultry, and fish.
  9. I buy the regular milk at Trader Joe's and it is cheaper than at the bigger chains. I buy a lot of dairy there. The house-brand butter is a lot cheaper than at the store and it is of decent quality. The house brand is about $2.69/lb and the Plugra is only $.60 or so more. I buy cream Berkeley Farms Manufacturing cream in 1/2 gallon containers at Smart and Final for about $6. I also buy milk there once in a while... I think their gallon price is around $3.50. Their butter price, when purchased in the unsegmented 3lb box, is the best around (usually less than $5). Wow... Does it seem like I buy a lot of butter? I guess I do and that doesn't even take into account the butter I often make with the left-over manufacturing cream (cultured of course).... Going back to the topic. If I were to buy my milk at the big chain stores, or Andronico's etc.., it would be very close to $5/gallon. Milk and cream prices always drift upward in the summer due to higher demand from ice cream manufacturers. However, this year has been particularly tough on dairy consumers.
  10. carp

    Puff Pastry

    What about, like, supernatural means of preservation? Does anyone have any ideas?
  11. I look forward to it! Any suggestions? Thank you.
  12. I’m now kind of upset with you… After I read your post I became obsessed with the idea of churning my own butter in my food processor. It took me a while to figure out exactly how to do it well. I also eventually sought out and stumbled onto a website that has more information about butter than almost anyone could possibly want and definitely more than your average person could need. http://webexhibits.org/butter/doityourself.html Among the things I learned is how to churn, wash, and knead food processor butter. I also learned how to make a very delicious cultured butter… and I learned that India consumes more butter than any other nation and does so by an admirable margin. http://webexhibits.org/butter/consumption.html Thanks to you I spent my entire weekend churning, culturing, and taste testing butter… This has suddenly become an all-consuming endeavor… so I guess… Thank you. But next time you casually toss out a statement like that… I may ask you to follow up with some instructions.
  13. That's awesome! I live in the Bay area... Where do you get it?
  14. Okay, explain this to a Californian... WHY did New York make raw milk illegal??? I believe that it is also illegal in CA.
  15. Considering what it costs to publish a book, this is a very nice touch ... Spell check needed on Amazon? What is this world coming to?? Note that in the Editorial Reviews section Eric Ripert calls the recipes "deliicious."
  16. I recommend Fujian in Walnut Creek. Let Spencer, the chef owner, start you off with sashimi of his choosing and you will not be disappointed. Of course, they have a wide selection of fancy rolls and whatnot, but the sashimi is what keeps me going back as often as I can.
  17. Dear Mr. Walsh, Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. I am a big fan of your writing. Growing up in Mexico City I never, ever, saw any burritos there or even flour tortillas for that matter. My grandmother, who is from Northern Mexico (near Mazatlan), used to make flour tortillas whenever we visitied and I always loved them. Anyway, according to my mother, when they moved to California grandmother's tortillas grew in size and she started making burritos in the early 1960's. My mother said that she picked up this addition to her repertoire when they lived briefly in Arizona and my uncle absolutely loved, and still loves, the burritos. My mother, who later moved to Mexico City with my father, will testify to the complete lack of burritos or flour tortillas when we lived there. Interestingly, we also lacked sour cream and I never once saw a taco filled with spiced ground beef. I asked my father, who is also a Mexico City native, if he ever had flour tortillas there and he replied, "Why would I?" Sorry for rambling, but are burritos a Tex-Mex invention? Did I simply not look hard enough in Mexico City? Are burritos a Northern Mexico invention and my grandmother simply lived too far south? Thank you!
  18. carp

    Pork Belly

    I am trying to make a braised pork belly and I was wondering how much rind needs to be trimmed off to make this. I've heard that the rind needs to be removed for this, but I am not sure how much of the fat constitutes the rind. Does all of the skin and fat need to be removed or just the tough outer layer of fat?
  19. carp


    I love blackberries and vanilla ice cream/custard variants (anglaise, brulee, etc). I know this is a pretty safe combination, but I sure love it. I like to macerate them with grand marnier and sugar regardless of their ultimate use. So, yes, I sweeten to taste.
  20. If our domestic producers cannot compete without artificial price controls and protectionist government policies, maybe they shouldn't survive. I believe in comparative advantage... Maybe shrimp boatin' isn't for them anymore and they should find a means of supporting themselves that does not create a drag on the economy. Stop the whining and become productive contributors to the economy. If their product is superior to the imported shrimp, many would happily pay a premium so they should find this niche and cater to it. Maybe this is a small niche and we can no longer support as large a shrimp industry in this country. I don't see that as a loss. We have way too many industries in this country that have been coddled for too long by subsidies, tariffs, and other shenanigans. What ever happened to capitalism? Laissez faire
  21. Coconut water is the liquid inside the coconut. Coconut flesh is used for making coconut milk.
  22. I have smoked various things with green tea on a stove-top smoker...
  23. I completely agree. Although I had watched Oliver's shows and somewhat enjoyed them, I did not have a high regard for his abilities as a cook... much less as a chef running a kitchen. After watching him on the reality tv show I definitely felt that his stock had risen considerably. He definitely came across as someone who can not only cook, but can also run a kitchen with professionalism, poise, and skill. Rocco's first season saw his kitchen make some food that was not well received by the diners and appeared to be of poor quality. However, Jaime Oliver was at no time shown making or serving anything short of top-quality professional product. Oliver also seemed to have a busy schedule promoting his books, self, and other products. Nonetheless, it appeared as though he made running the kitchen at 15 a priority and devoted a remarkable amount of time and effort to the burgeoning restaurant's success. Oliver's skill and maturity, as portrayed in the show, belied his years. It's hard to believe he is about 10 years younger than Rocco.
  24. I think Emily is quickly replacing Drew as the biggest ass-wipe on the show.
  25. He's been on the Food Network's Date Plate... a lame-ass cross between a dating show and a cooking competition. He didn't actually cook on the show. He just advised the contestants who competed for a date. Kat Cora was also on that show.
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