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Everything posted by SKinCA

  1. I just ate at L'Atelier on Oct. 26th. I found the food superb. It was lunchtime and though I had a reservation it was totally unneccessary. I have photos and when I have time will post them. If you want to just pop in, try an early lunch. At noon, the place was very empty and I think you will be accomodated.
  2. SKinCA

    Roasting Meats

    We've been grilling CostCo frozen burgers all summer by putting them on the grill frozen. Been working like a charm as they cook all they way through but seem to retain quite a bit of moisture. Go figure. My husband first did against my better judgement, but it's been really great.
  3. FrigoI have two experiences with Sub Zero. My mother in law has one and it has leaked from the day she got it and no amount of time from a service man seems to cure this problem. Also, for some odd reason, when she moved it to a new house it was impossible to switch the door configuration, so now her refrig opens the wrong way! That seems ridiculous for such a pricey appliance, doesn't it? Second - I work as an assistant at Sur La Table in the cooking school. We used to have lovely, capacious Amana freezer on the bottom fridges. Sur La Table made a deal with Wolf/SubZero and now we have a sub-zero. It's a smaller model. The downsides: We had to throw away 2/3 of the food in the fridge when we switched over - no room! We now have to run next door to the kindly local restaurant for ice as the ice maker sucks! It makes very little ice and makes it veeeerrrrryyyy slooooowwwly. We used to be able to put 2 half sheets pans with recipe mise en place side by side (the long way) on a single shelf. If we needed to we could have had six complete mise en place in there. Now we can fit barely 1 half sheet pan per shelf. I would never in a million years buy a sub zero for my home. And the wolf ovens suck too, but that's a different thread. Also, a really cool thing is that whatever fridge you get you can get 3rd party customized panels for your fridge. Check out: Frigo They do custom stuff, not only for your fridge but also for dishwasher, etc. Stainless steel and beyond! Think chalkboard, wood, your favorite sports team logo.....go wild.
  4. As I've said, I found myself liking both final contestants less and less as time wore on. But Michael was more appealing in the final episode while Ralph's brashness became more annoying. I really loved the look of Michael's restaurant and didn't like Ralph's. I wonder how much of their superior approval ratings came from the fact that it must have been a freebie meal? They should have charged people, then seen if they felt like returning. I thought the GR London offer was totally scripted, but a good outcome for Michael. I wonder if GR would do the show again. Maybe another celeb chef would be willing to host this time and we could see a different kitchen style? Or would that be totally pointless for "Hell's Kitchen"? Maybe Tony Bourdain could do it and the challenge wouldn't be so much the hellacious in-kitchen service but the hellacious after-hours pub crawl every night? Or Mario Batali and everyone would be forced to wear orange clogs all the time? Or Jamie Oliver and no one could use any tools but their hands and have to say either "mate" or "my son" in every sentence or be disqualified? Or.... you get the idea.
  5. I didn't much like Jessica (pouty and snippy - too right!), but I also find myself liking Michael and Ralph less and less each week for their nasty backbiting, boys club attitude. I can't wait for those two to go at each other and stop pretending they are friends. Whoo-boy and they say that women are backbiters! As a side note, was anyone else weirded out that every single one of the contestants was a smoker? I mean, how likely is it that 12 random people would all smoke? I'm picking Ralph to win, as I did way back in week one, but that being said, his food doesn't really ever seem that appealing to me. It's pretty tough to ruin filet mignon, but I thought Michael's plate looked much more attractive.
  6. Yes. Jessica, Michael and Ralph conspired to bury Elsie alive, which was shitty. I liked her the best out of all of them, but my pick for winner continues to be Ralph. I'd like to see Jessica go next - I can't stand her pouty puss.
  7. All jokes aside as I truely thought Los Gatos was a beautiful town. Now on the other hand a few days later I spent July 4th in Pittsburgh watching the fireworks and now were talking about a town with a few burgers under it's belt. ← When you say Pittsburgh I imagine muscular women and men with boobs.... Glad you enjoyed your Manresa experience. I'm a huge DK fan and reading about what he's got on the menu now makes me want to hop in my car this minute!
  8. Well, they will now! That sound good.
  9. I just got to catch up with last week's show (yippee Tivo!), so here's my belated 2 cents: If I were Jessica I would have nominated Andrew and Ralph. The reasons - "Chef, Andrew has consistently been the weak link in the chain. I think the team would do better without him." and "Chef, Ralph is my strongest competitor on the Blue team. If you let him go, I have a better chance of winning. If you keep him and ditch Andrew, my team is still going to get stronger - also good for me." It has the benefit of ballsy play. Jessican didn't have much to lose and Andrew is clearly a pain. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.
  10. Home sick from school? GG was the highlight of my morning as a child! Now, as an adult, not only do I love those original recipes but I really groove to the hip 70s pots/pans and serving pieces he uses. I have a modest collection of mid-century modern, some of which I first saw when he used them on his show. Catherine Holmes pieces come to mind, but I can't say with any real certainty. He was so hip, so naughty (especially to the 10-12 year mind). They used to rerun the original on Food Network, very late at night, as I recall and once, during a bout of insomnia, I watched him make a souffle-like omelet that looked just delicious. I got up the next morning, found the recipe online and had it for lunch that day. It was yummy! Cheers to Graham Kerr!
  11. Chiff, Understand where you're coming from but I am going to have to disagree here. The brigade (hmm, interesting parallel use of the term) is the front line of the battle-field. Their objective: Fill the seats, beat the competition, make money. A restaurant can have the most brilliant chef on the planet and completely fail if the line can't perform. BTW, what's the line on that numbnuts that shoved too much salt into the risotto? - CSR ← I think that numbnuts was lucky to make it through the cut! He's a smirking bastard and what I dislike about him most is how nothing is ever his fault. He's quick to blame everyone around him and to answer back and I think he was a detriment to the team. Much worse then Wendy, who seems to be only clueless. I'm glad Jeff is gone. He was a whiner. And as bad as GR is in the kitchen, when the contestants get a chance to go out with him socially, it seems to be quite fun for them. There is probably much interaction that they aren't showing here. I know it's all a goof and far from "reality", but I'm having a blast wallowing in the reality trough!
  12. I knew your background from your many excellent postings, Chef! I was picturing something like Oded Fehr (on the left of this picture): Chef Zadi In the Kitchen only with a toque instead of the black headband. I think it'd be a monster hit.
  13. Although I would be glued to the tube for a real life view of how the line works in a restaurant, I doubt the rest of America is up for it. Let's face, those of us fascinated by the inner workings of a restaurant kitchen are in the minority. There probably aren't enough of us to provide a tv show with the kind of numbers they need to attract advertisers. The Food Network didn't dumb it down out of spite or ignorance. Their market research and ratings showed that the audience overwhelmingly preferred their cooking shows to be personality-driven and not technique driven. Hence we end up with Hell's Kitchen - GR - Bully Boy, Elsie - Stay At Home Mom, Chris - Overconfident Exec Chef, Dewberry - Fat Hick GR isn't actually very different from an amped up Mr. Miyagi in "Karate Kid". His methods may seem cruel and arbitrary, but they teach valuable lessons which all will realize in the end. Wax on, wax off, y'all! The reality show formula requires easily recognized archetypes to function and must craft a storyline (though editing) that creates the dramatic arcs that we are all familiar with: "Underdog Comes Out on Top", "Smug Guy Taken Down a Peg", "Timid Girl Finds Fortitude". Things outside of this formula have a really tough time breaking through to mainstream America. As someone referenced upthread "Ya gotta have gimmick!" Now, if Chef Zadi would like to consider wearing a large scimitar in his belt and beheading failing line cooks, we could probably get THAT on Fox in a flash! Famous tag line: "Off with their heads!"
  14. To follow protocol strictly, there also has to be a Swiss Army knife in there somewhere. ← I think to be strictly 21st century the tool of choice might be a Leatherman. But old school works! Hurray for the wire hanger. The annoying locking mechanisms of the Cuisinarts is exactly why I have a Kitchenaid processor instead.
  15. Hey! If you get right on it you can make those brownies and mail me a few out here in CA! As for the show, I think they did show another side of Ramsay during dinner. Of course, it's all scripted, but I'm willing to go along for the ride. And one point to make - a nice boss that makes everyone feel great is ideal, of course. If I had to choose between Ramsay and Anti-Ramsay, I'd work for Anti-Ramsay, natch. But at least Ramsay is WSIWYG. Most bosses I've worked for - not in a kitchen, mind, but in the computer industry, were asshole passive-aggressive wankers (feeling the Ramsay vibe on the slang today!). Nothing like slaving away for someone who doesn't teach you anything, doesn't get your back and doesn't know what they want. I don't know if I've been miraculously unlucky in bosses, but there you have my 20 years of working experience in a nutshell. And if we're talking long bets, I'm keeping my eye on Ralph as a dark horse. He seems quiet and competent. And I'm not sure Jeff didn't deserve the boot instead of Dewberry. Granted he had a meltdown, but he also learned to clean squid, made a decent spaghetti and, in the end, did the right thing by staying. He also took his "firing" really well. And in re-reading this - note to self - holy shit - must get a life!
  16. I've never worked in a kitchen, (wish I had at least tried!- the regrets of middle age!) but I've no problem with Ramsay and the way he treats his staff. I watched both "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" and "Boiling Point" and completely enjoyed them. If I'm shelling out for a 3 star meal I want everything perfect and everything Gordon Ramsay says or does in his kitchen is for me, to make my experience at his restaurant a 3 star experience. What the fuck should he do with a staff member who overcooks or undercooks my salmon? Give a little pat on the back and a pep talk "There, there lad. Better luck tomorrow?" Bull SHIT! When you work for someone like a Ramsay you're at the top of your game. Didn't his sous chef from Boiling Point open his own restaurant and earn a Michelin star? Let me just say this (and I'm sure this will provoke a shitstorm of comments): at little less "understanding" and little more "just get the damn job done" would go a long way towards improving every most jobs and a lot of the transactions we're forced to suffer through in everyday life. Nice is waaaaay overrated as a motivation tool. If I'd have known the contestants were going to be so lame I would have tried out myself. Since all their ingredients were there for their "signature" dishes, don't you think they would have practiced and practiced those to at least cook them correctly. The baked spaghetti looked like it had been eaten and thrown back up on the plate. And Carolann was dead weight and deserved to go. Dewberry aka Blueberry next. I'm gonna watch and enjoy every little scripted bit of this puppy! Go get 'em, Gordon!
  17. Oh I LOVE you for posting this. The glove thing makes me crazy because I know that people aren't changing them out. Thank you!
  18. I like the recipes from Fine Cooking. I find that recipes from Cooks Illustrated, although they generally perform as expected, tend to need a bit of jazzing up. I think it might be a regional thing - their tasters seem to expect things a bit blander than I and my family prefer. Or, it might just be a Cooks Illustrated thing...
  19. Wow. File this under "why didn't I think of that?". Thanks for this tip!
  20. I'm the mother of two kids and I would never have tolerated that sort of behavior from them. What's more, I certainly would have been as outraged as you were by other parents allowing their children to indulge in the behavior. Killing animals is a neccessary byproduct of being an omnivore. I choose to eat animals, therefore I must also acknowledge that animals die for me to eat and be willing to live with that. I try to teach that to my kids as well. I'm the mother that outraged the other mothers on the kindergarten farm field trip by pointing at the adorable little lambs and telling my kids "See those little baby lambs? We kill them to get lambchops." I've also brought them to the local market where live fish are sold so that they see that swimming fish become lovely fish fillets only after a creature has lost its life. My children understand where their food comes from. Who knows? They may make a different choice someday and choose to be vegetarians because of that. Shame on the parents of those other children for allowing them to turn the suffering of an animal into a game. Shame on the people who botched the slaughter of the pig - they should have been better prepared or hired a professional to have the job done correctly. I don't think your reaction was out of line at all.
  21. My mother is still the best cook I know. I don't think I've ever eaten a bad meal at her table. I still learn from her whenever I cook with her. I've yet to learn her most incredible trick - throwing a dinner party but enjoying it as if she was a pampered guest instead of the host! One day I'll master that and be completely unstoppable! To Mom - still teaching me to this day.
  22. I volunteer to be one of your test cooks. I write, too, if Touaregsand gets bored. ← I don't get bored. But I find that I'm putting too many of my own projects on the backburner, what I really want to do is direct. The biggest challenge in ghostwriting is translating Farid's Franglish and writing the way he sees and speaks about the world. My own voice is more like Faulknerian drunken rants, interspersed with adaptations of Dylan Thomas poems with a touch of Borges and the attitude of Jeanne Moreau in a Black and White film smoking cigarettes while staring out the window saying, "we are all out of wine. life is sooo difficult." After "The Beautiful Algeria" project is complete we'll begin working on the Lyon/Beaujolais book. We want to include other writers in this one and have been keeping an eye out on egullet. PM either one of us if interested. We have a lot of other projects that are being sketched out. Test cooks and test readers of completed chapters are needed. ← I'd love to recipe test! I tested for Linda Carucci (Secrets From a Caterers Kitchen) and am currently testing with Marlene Koch (Fabulous Food with Splenda). And before people start jeering -don't knock the Splenda - it presents some tricky baking problems particularly and I'm learning quite a bit!
  23. SKinCA

    Passover Chicken Soup

    Please ignore previous reply. I use my mom's chicken soup recipe (which was HER mom's )...A nice, fatty whole chicken, dill, parsley, parsnip, leek, turnip (yes, turnip), celery top, onion and carrot. Simmer until veggies are cooked (covered), then uncover, add salt, pepper, a little sugar and powdered ginger and continue simmering (reducing) until you achieve that "old world" flavor!
  24. I don't have the negative reaction to this woman that some other posters have. I just realize that she and I live in 2 completely different worlds. She's not into food. That isn't a crime. She doesn't seem to be food police - she's made her choices and doesn't enforce them on anyone else. I wonder, when she has a meal catered, is the food lousy? After all, if she has no interest in it, does she do a good job of quality control for her guests' benefit? As to having her over for dinner - why on earth would I want to do that? I'm going to work hard to ensure that my guests enjoy the food I serve and she seems, with her disinterest in food, to be a nightmare guest for me. To make up for her indifference to food, she'd have to be as witty, intelligent and charming as the entire Algonquin Round Table and I'm not sure she is. I would probably enjoy talking to her out at a restaurant - they could give me her sauce! I do agree that this type of article perpetuates gender stereotypes. They can feature my husband in their next article "Men Who Don't Watch Sports" to even out the scales.
  25. Mom, Brother, Hubby and I had the tasting menu last night. I'm only going to briefly mention dishes we had that I haven't heard mentioned upthread and apologies to readers and to Manresa if some of the details are missing - I don't take notes while eating and my memory is sometimes incomplete and faulty - or if some dishes might be out of order or missing a crucial detail. So, we opened with a Grapefruit (?) Granita with a Ginger Gelee with Carrot Juice poured over it at table. At first I thought "Carrot juice?" but then I thought: "Carrot Tsimmes! Carrots, ginger and citrus - why not?" It was delicious. Next, Potato and Salt Cod Fritters - light, delicate and delicious. The Arpege Egg - exhaustively covered above (and Tana is right - when will Bauer stop calling it scrambled? It's really soft boiled.) Perfect oyster with the cutest sweetest uni in it. I have only liked uni at Manresa and I don't know why. Fluke Sashimi with Yuzu Zest - been talked about. Black Cod with Salmon Roe - ditto Scallop with Fava Bean Pesto, Peas and Polenta - tied for favorite with the Fluke. The scallop was perfect in every respect, the peas sweet and fresh and the polenta creamy. I took extra care to get a bit of each flavor in every bite. Outstanding. Veal Cheek with Sweetbreads with Milk Foam - I liked this - the cheek was meltingly tender, the sweetbread flavorful. I could not taste the milk foat, but it made a very pretty appearance. Veal Wrapped around Bluefin Tuna with Asparagus with Proscuitto - for me this was the least successful of the dishes we were served. I love tuna and I love veal, but neither really seemed to shine in this dish. My mother thought it was just seared tuna - she didn't even get that there was veal there and I understand why. The veal sort of disappeared. Bear in mind, however, I ate every smidgen. Sorbets in Cones - Apple and Strawberry-Rhubarb Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle with Vanilla Ice Cream Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Strawberries - this was fantastic! I have to say that it is the dessert I've enjoyed the most at Manresa. I'm not much of a chocolate fanatic but any custard-y dessert just floats my boat. This was smooth, silky and delicious - so very simple, so very rich, so very good. The restaurant was more crowded than I've ever seen it. We threw a bit of challenge at the kitchen because my brother is allergic to nuts, asparagus & bananas. I'm allergic to mangos. So they had to customize my brother's plates and did a great job of doing so. It may well be that I missed some details from our servers because of the noise level. It wasn't "noisy" but I have a bit of trouble in a crowded room with background noise. Our experience was wonderful. I'm planning on going back as soon as I can. Although I've now done the tasting menu 3 times (!) and the Fireplace menu once I've never just ordered off the regular menu and it is time.
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