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  1. Looking for suggestions in or around Arlington. Price not an issue, open to all cuisines, preferably casual. Thanks.
  2. Sticking to my guns on this one. ← I think Steph will win. Unless she blows it big time (and I don't think she will) there has to be some pressure--conscious or unconscious--to have a female winner. So all things being equal I think she would get the nod. But she is talented enough anyway to take the win, so my money's on her! ← It also wouldn't surprise me to see Stephanie win a couple more challenges and then Richard win the final. She's already won a trip, kitchen appliances, etc etc... I'd love it if she won the final. It definitely will be down to her and Richard. They are easily the best chefs on the show. ← I would like to see Stephanie win as well. I think her cooking style is great, straightforward, flavorful, hearty. Richard seems to be very talented, but of that group of chefs that focus so much on being different, complicated and creative. It works to a point. The appetizer last night sounded great, but that entree was so unappealing to me.
  3. You are correct. Crisis averted, marriage saved, BlueStar on the way.
  4. I loved that the quickfire challange involved butchering skills (I have always wanted to take a year off of work and intern with a butcher), but did it pain anyone else to see all of that intercostal meat and fat get trimmed away? That is one of the best parts of a bone-in rib-eye. I would have taken those trimmings back to the house with me. I loath Ilan (cooking off of the Casa Mono menu was no great achievement), but I agree with him about tenderloin being his least favorite cut, it ranks up there with chicken breasts for me.
  5. My wife and I recently moved to a new apartment and are in the midst of renovating the kitchen. After many conversations I finally got her to agree to go along with my desire for a BlueStar range. We were all set to order one today when she looked at the specs and saw that it was a convection and balked. I cook and she bakes. I have never baked anything in my life but I know that for myself, from beast to fowl to fish, I get superior results with the convection. She claims that the convection oven will be a detriment to her baking. She is a very good baker (having learned from her mom who is an excellent baker) but I think her phobia is based on the few times she baked something in our old oven, not realizing it was on convection and got a poor result. My question to you bakers is what are your feelings on baking with a convection oven? Does it help or hinder? Do recipes need to be adjusted when using a convection? Again, I know nothing about baking, but I have to assume that one can bake effectively using a convection oven. Thanks for any insight you can provide
  6. Artichoke


    Patted dry and fried in olive oil until golden brown, they are delicious.
  7. This was a fantastic posting, thank you. Aside from the offal you took home, I was just curious why you left the tongue and brain behind.
  8. I think what tops the list of overlooked cookbooks are the out of print Time Life Good Cook book series from the late 1970's. The series editor was Richard Olney. The books cover separate topics such as poultry, beef & veal, sauces, lamb, pork, etc. The book entitled Variety Meats, is simply one of the best books written in English covering the topic of offal and one of my most cherished cookbooks in a 300+ collection. The series is phenomenal on a number of levels. Firstly, the detailed instruction accompanied by photographs is a great learning tool. Secondly, the recipes are so refreshing in that they bring you back to a time before the obsession with what is deemed "healthy" and all of the cooking trends of the last 20 years. It is nice to read a recipe that calls for an addition of a calf's foot as something matter of fact and not something out of the norm or part of some offal eating trend. Other overlooked books: La Varenne Pratique, by Ann Willan. A very good comprehensive guide to ingredients and technique. Alan Davidson's trilogy on seafood, Mediterranean Seafood, North Atlantic Seafood and Seafood of South-East Asia Innards and other Variety Meats by Jane Allen & Margaret Gin. Long before Nose to Tail Eating, this book is a gem for any offal lover. I am not certain if it is overlooked now that it has been re-published in one volume, but Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques is an essential teaching tool. French Regional Cooking by Ann Willan. I do not know why this is out of print, but it is her best book and a great text for lovers of French food, with detailed descriptions of each of Frances regions, foods and recipes. Another out of print gem, The Classic Pasta Cookbook, by Giuliano Hazan, Marcella's son. If you enjoy pasta, this is the book to own. Goose Fat and Garlic, by Jeanne Strang. Released again in 2006, great book on the cooking of South-west France. The Lutece Cookbook by Andre Soltner. From one of the greatest chefs to ever cook in Manhattan (in my humble opinion) Nothing like most of the cookbooks from today's restaurant owning chefs. The book is incredibly thoughtful, well written, with great recipes and background and very much geared towards the home chef. A very interesting section is his recipes based on the cooking and traditions of the Jews of Alsace. I could go on, but I need to get back to work.
  9. Is anyone going to the Chris Cosentino dinner? . It is pricey, but the menu sounded too good to pass up The Menu: Passed Hors D'Oeuvres: - Beef heart tartar puttanesca - Fritto of honeycomb Tripe with olives and oregano - Porchetta di testa with radish and pecorino Paired with Zucchi Pignoletto NV, Emilia-Romagna Dinner: - Beef tendon and sweet breads, with chili and mint // Nero d'Avola, Feudo Montoni 2003, Sicily - Turf and Surf: trotters and lobster with tarragon // Ribolla Gialla, La Castellada 2000, Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Crudo of venison liver, with juniper, beets and balsamic // Sangue di Giuda, Tenimenti Confalonieri, La Versa 2006, Lombardy - Whole roasted spring lamb neck with lambs milk polenta and gremolata // Nieddera Rosso, Contini 2003, Sardinia - Candied cockscombs with riso pudding // Recioto di Soave "Col Foscarin", Gini 2004, Veneto
  10. My wife and I just bought an apartment on the Upper East Side and while the 3 bedroom was bought for a good price (well, good for Manhattan) the trade off is a small kitchen. The kitchen is about 5.5 x 13.5, which is a bitch, but I rationalized it by thinking that if Gabrielle Hamilton can turn out such good food in her small kitchen at Prune, an amature chef, with no tables to turn can make it work as well. The issue is obviously to maximize the space, but give it the function of a professional kitchen. To design a small kitchen that has the flow necessary for someone who is going to be using it heavily. Does anyone have the name of a kitchen designer that works in Manhattan that they would recommend? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  11. First, let me point out the absurdity of someone with the moniker of "Fat Guy" calling anyone lazy. Secondly, while I understand the need for you to try and keep eGullet relevant, if you wanted a pot stirring issue to get the traffic flowing, at least pick one that can actually foster a true debate. Finally, can we please move away from the term "foodie", which has to be one of the most cringe worthy terms out there. Why is there a need to attach a term or label to something one enjoys, just enjoy it. Before you lean over your keyboard, let me present my credentials. I was born and raised in Manhattan. After getting married a year and a half ago I had to move to my wife's house in Teaneck, until her son finished high school out there and we could move back to the City. Thankfully, he switched out this year to a City school and we will be moving back to Manhattan shortly. Prior to my move and through out my time there, I did exhaustive research on where to go and dragged my poor wife to restaurants, markets and food stalls of every type. Any time I heard about a prospect I went, an Indian place here, a woman selling homemade Kimchi out of her liquor store there. While there certainly is some very good food in New Jersey, the notion that it is good enough that a New Yorker should be deemed lazy for not making the trip is asinine, so much so, that I suspect you do not believe it yourself. You would have had a much more spirited and legitimate debate had you raised the issue of how few Manhattan residents explore the wealth of great food in the other 4 boroughs. The one legitimate destination place I would point out is Mitsuwa in Edgewater. That is a unique experience that cannot be duplicated in the City. I have been making trips there for years. Do I enjoy a ripper at Rutt's Hut? Of course, and when I have to drive within the vicinity of it, I will be sure to stop in. Am I making a special trip to go there? Are you joking? Great Korean markets and food? I'll take the subway a couple of stops to K-town. Axia Taverna, the Mehtani's restaurants, Sakura Bana, China 46 (before it closed), some Newark locations, sure, all good. Worth a special trip and traffic? unable to be equaled and or surpassed in Manhattan or Queens, Bronx or Brooklyn? Spare me. I believe someone else here mentioned that there is a tendency to exaggerate when good food is to be found in NJ and I can attest to that being true. To hear the way some people wax poetic about these places you would think you are in for some unique experience. Perhaps, if you live in Binghamton or some other City with a limited diversity of cuisine. However New York is blessed, and there is no apology necessary for not crawling up the FDR or through the Tunnel to seek out that which NJ has to offer. There is a tendency to stereotype all Manhattan people as anti-Jersey, which is ridiculous. Some parts of the state are beautiful, there are some great farms, good hunting, horseback riding and Revolutionary war history. However, when it comes to food and the notion that residents in NYC are missing out, the debate is not worth the time I have wasted typing this response.
  12. Random thoughts as I procrastinate at work. Am I the only one that finds Gail Simmon's hot? There is so much focus on Padma, but personally I think Gail is prettier, actually enjoys food and has a personality. I would much rather spend a weekend with her than Padma (not that they have been calling me with offers). Also, I would love to see these people cook something other than chicken, pork loin, shrimp and the ever popular scallop. There was that first challenge using "exotic ingredients." They had one offal challenge in one of the previous seasons, they need another.
  13. For my recent wedding I had my caterer serve three different soups during the cocktail hour out of glases similar to the one on the left . One was a chilled gazpacho, the others, a carrot ginger soup and a fennel parsnip soup were served room temperature. They were popular and the soups were thin enough where it had no problem exiting the glass, but were thick enough to have nice body.
  14. The New York Times carried a review of Bistro EN in Sunday's paper. "Bistro En, which turns 18 months old next Sunday, is delivering a line of consistently satisfying, carefully cooked bistro standards with just enough flair and variety to keep things interesting..."
  15. Thank you for the suggestions. I made reservations for Harvest Bistro, I will let you guys know tomorrow how it was.
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