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Everything posted by Artichoke

  1. Thanks for all of the suggestions. Does anyone have a grill with a rotisserie? That was something I was considering as well. I have never used one, but I have eaten a duck slowly cooked on one once and it was spectacular.
  2. There is likely a thread on this somewhere although I could not find it. After a lifetime spent living in a city, I will be spending the next couple of years living in the suburbs (the sacrifices one makes for marriage). Not to disparage suburban dwellers, It is just that I was born and raised in Manhattan and that is what I am used to and love. If there is upside for me, aside from trying my hand at planting herbs and perhaps a few vegetables, is that I will be able to purchase an outdoor grill. While I have cooked on a few, I have never been in a position to buy one. Any suggestions from the grill masters out there? Cost is not a big concern, food and cooking is an area of my life where I have no issues spending money for quality. Thanks.
  3. I do not know how it started, but the Passover food tradition that was a regular in my family was a celebration of chicken fat, or schmaltz. The evening before Passover began, my mother would render pieces of chicken fat and skin along with some onion. The result would be a golden elixir and crisp, brown cracklings or grebenes. My mother would sprinkle the hot grebenes with kosher salt and serve it to my father and I, she called it "Jewish popcorn." There are few food memories from my childhood that rival biting into those warm, crunchy, salty, bits. The strained chicken fat would go into a nice crystal bowl (only the best for such a treasured item) and sit in the refrigerator until the seder the following evening. During the seder meal, we would thinly spread the solidified chicken fat onto hot shmurah matzo, were it would melt in an instant, sprinkle it with kosher salt and eat. It was a glorious thing, elevating the matzoh to what I envision mannah from heaven must have been to my ancestors crossing the sinai. Eating that, along with a glass of Dr. Browns cream soda was what Passover was all about for me as a child.
  4. My favorite toppings are Old Bay Seasoning and Zaatar, the Middle Eastern spice mix of savory, thyme, sumac and sesame seeds, I add salt to the pocorn as well since neither of these spice mixtures contain it on their own. My main question about popcorn has to do with the partially popped kernels, does anyone else love these as much as I do? It is my favorite part. I have searched far and wide to see if anyone sells just the partialy poped kernels and I thought I lucked out when I saw bags of them in my favorite Korean grocer, Han Ah Reum, here in Manhattan. Unfortunately they were dry roasted, unsalted and quite tasteless, they are used to brew a type of Korean tea, called Oksusu-Cha. I have tried the tea, it is actually quite good, but the kernels alone are very unexciting. I understand that Trader Joe's used to sell a snack called Corn a Copious, which were in fact slightly popped, salted, popcorn kernels. I do not know if they still carry it, although, since they just opened here, I will have to check it out.
  5. I drink so few kosher wines during the year, (usualy only at Passover when I am with my family all of whom keep kosher homes), that I can never remember the few good ones I have had. One that I recall was very good was a 1999 Hagefen Cellers cabernet. Any suggestions, particularly full bodied reds?
  6. As someone who has had many meals at Second Avenue Deli over the better part of my 36 years, if this is indeed the end, it is truly, very sad. However, I do disagree with charges of greedy landlords. For one thing, as has been pointed out, the increase was agreed upon years ago, secondly, since when is it greedy to seek to obtain the highest price for your property that the market will bear? Icon or not, Second Avenue Deli is a business and in the words of Michael Corleone, this was business, not personal. As to critics of Second Avenue's food, I do not want to get into a debate over pastrami, is Katz's better in that department? Maybe yes, but I think what gets overlooked in discussions of Second Avenue's menu is the offerings beyond sandwiches. Second Avenue was the last place to get real, old school, Jewish cooking outside of the home and they did it well. Chicken fricase redolent with bay leaf and containing small meatballs, kishka (stuffed derma) with gravy, flanken (boiled short ribs, best served with horseradish, the Jewish version of pot-au-feu or bollito misto), pan fried kreplach served with well browned onions, cholent (Jewish cassoulet), petcha (true, there are not many people like me, who are enamored with this dish of calves feet boiled in a garlic laden broth, the meat from the feet cut up, added to the broth and the whole thing chilled to a solid, jelled block. Done right, it is delicious and Second Avenue did this most old school of Jewish dishes right) and Romanian steak, a very flavorful flank steak served with deep browned onions. Sigh... Yes, in my opinion, to truly appreciate Second Avenue Deli you had to venture from the sandwich board. To do so was to be rewarded with dishes you would either have to make yourself, or befriend someone's bubbe to enjoy
  7. There are so many forgotten vegetables out there, If I had to pick a couple I would say parsely root and salsify. Parsely root is a parsely subspecies grown for its parsnip colored root and used mostly in Europe. It has a firm texture and a flavor that is like a mix of parsely (no kidding), carrot, and celery root. I always add it to my chicken soup. I have only been able to find it with regularity in the past couple of years here in Manhattan. Another forgotten one, but that is showing up more in restaurants is salsify, a root that is a member of the sunflower family that when cooked tastes somewhat similar to an artichoke, I think its delicious. You can steam or saute it.
  8. The Chick-fil-A, in Concourse A of the Atlanta Airport is the only bright spot I can think of about that airport. I have also had a very respectable burger at Newark Intl. Airport in terminal C at Gallagher's Steakhouse.
  9. Can anyone recommend a good wine store in or around the Teaneck area? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  10. As a child growing up in the 70's and in love with food from early on, I used to watch the Galloping Gourmet, along with Julia, Madeline Kamman and Pierre Franey. I loved watching Kerr, his food looked rich and great and he was zaney (later I learned he was often a bit tipsy as well, but hey, at least he was genuine). I am well aware that Kerr had health issues later in life and he resurected himself as a healthy cooking advocate. That is all well and good, but as a result, I can't stand to watch him anymore. If there are those that enjoy him now, then I am happy for them, but he swung too far in the other direction in my opinion. I preffer Julia's health advice, enjoy all foods, but everything in moderation. One can still maintain a healthy diet without following the stringent methods Kerr uses. Cooking with egg substitutes and non fat cheeses? No thanks. Eat in moderation and excersise regularly, then one can be healthy as well as enjoy the pleasure that comes from eating good food.
  11. Artichoke

    Prime Rib

    fiftydollars is correct, I always specify to my butcher that I want ribs 10-12, otherwise known as the loin end or small end. As NulloModo pointed out, the word "prime" has nothing to do with the grade of meat, it is called prime rib roast because it constitutes the majority of the rib primal cut. A rib primal cut includes bone segments of seven ribs, ribs 6-12. I specify ribs 10-12 because while the meat has has plenty of marblization, it does not have the large pockets of fat found in the first 4 ribs. You will have more than enough meat for 4 people. I served 15 people over Passover with two sets of 10-12 prime ribs. Ask the butcher to remove the "chine" bone which is part of the cow's vertebrae, however ask him to give you the bone as it is good for stock. Its removal will make carving easier. By all means do not have the butcher remove the meat from the ribs. Cooking it is simple. I set the oven to 450 degrees, rub the entire roast with olive oil salt and pepper, chopped garlic and either chopped rosemary or thyme, place the roast in a pan bone side down, fat side up, roast at 450 for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and cook until an instant read thermometer reads 110, which will give you rare meat within and medium rare amongst the outer slices. The meat will continue to rise in temprature by about 5-10 degrees as it rests. Obviously cook to a slightly higher temprature if you want medium rare through out, but it is key to remember that it continues to cook while it rests outside the oven. I preffer the British method of roasting it high for a bit then turning the oven lower, others preffer a low and slow method. Either way, you wil have a tender and very flavorful piece of meat, with delicious ribs to snack on as well. I think that the easiest way to carve the roast is to run your knife along the ribs seperating the roast entirely and then simply slicing it, pouring any pan juices over the sliced meat.
  12. Pulled pork sandwich at Big Bob Gibsons in Decatur, AL Fried chicken and fried chicken gizzards at Price's Chicken Coop in Charlotte, NC Oyster roast at Bowens Island, James Island, south of Charleston, SC Shrimp and grits at Jestine's Kitchen, Charleston, SC Barbecue hog (particularly the fried skin) at Sweatmans Bar-B-Cue, Holly Hill, SC Hamburger at Lupies, Charlotte, NC
  13. The method Henderson uses is the most simple and in my opinion, the most delicious. Just pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees, stand the bones upright in a pan and let them roast for about 20 minutes. They are ready when the marrow pulls away from the bone. Be careful not to over cook them or the marrow will largely melt away. Henderson serves them with a simple salad of flat leaf parsely, chopped shallots, capers, a squeeze of lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Scoop the marrow out on some toasted bread, sprinkle with a touch of sea salt and enjoy. Marrow is a truly glorious thing. There are more involved methods, such as having your butcher split beef shinbones in half lengthwise and then make a paste using bread crumbs, softened butter, parsely, dry mustard, salt and pepper, perhaps a dash of worcestershire. You spead the paste over the exposed marrow and put it under the broiler untill the surface is browned and bubbling, about 5 minutes, depending on how hot your broiler gets. Personaly, I find this method over kill, the marrow is very rich on its own and its subtle beefy flavor is lost when cooking it this way, but I know people who enjoy this method a lot. The other thing I do with marrow bones, and what I will be doing this weekend, is make a soup. I will tie the green part of a leek around the bone with kitchen twine so the marrow does not slip out into the soup pot, add whatever else you like (I usualy add turnip, celery leaves or celery root, carrot, parsnip, leek, a few whole peppercorns, sometimes some fresh dill towards the end, and if I have them in the freezer, chicken feet) and when it is done, you have a nice soup and beautifuly soft, tender marrow to eat on its own, or spread on toast.
  14. I think that all of the suggestions mentioned will yield you a good soup, particularly if you reduce the final product a bit, which will help you acheive a deeper flavor (another reason to wait until the end to add salt, particularly if, as mentioned, you are using kosher chickens). The vegetables are certainly key, parsnip and carrots will give you some sweetness, onions or leeks are key as well. If you are able to find parsley root, that is a very nice addition to a chicken soup, it looks like a shorter version of a parsnip. It is not used by many people in this country, but was commonly used to make chicken soup by Jews through out Europe. My key ingrediant for chicken soup are chicken feet, I never make my soup without them, it really adds a depth of flavor. In addition, there is no part of the chicken that contains more gelatin than the feet and the gelatin will give your soup very good body. If you use the feet you will notice the difference when you chill your soup, it will set into a very firm gel or aspic due to the gelatin from the feet. The feet are also delicious to eat.
  15. Zeitoun is absolutely correct with 71 Clinton, I had one of the worst meals I have ever had in Manhattan there (the worst was at the thankfully defunct Tappo, which once occupied Hearth's space). Jason Neroni has talent, I tasted it once during a quick late night meal at the bar where I was served a delicious, slightly spicy fricasee made from crisp sweet breads and crayfish tails. Unfortunately when I returned a couple of weeks later I was faced with overly creative and tasteless food. The worst of the worst was my entree of batons of very tough, skinless duck breasts, with a clear watery broth poured over it. How someone can basterdize the glory that is duck by mercilessley stripping it of its skin is beyond me. Would you serve a skinless suckling pig, or a skinless roast chicken? A duck and its skin should never be parted. I would also add my voice to the Luger opinion. The steak is very good, but I am not as enamored with it as others seem to be. For one thing, my preffered cut of steak is a ribeye, not a porterhouse, plus they slice the thing as soon as it comes out of the fire causing the blood to pour out onto the plate rather than remaining in the meat. I will however commend them on the thick cut broiled bacon appetizer, that is glorious. I get my steak fix with the ribeye at the Strip House, one of the best ribyes in the City in my opinion, although I am not crazy about the Strip Houses space. I think Hearth is overated as well, although the simply grilled oyster mushroom side is currently my favorite mushroom dish in the City. The food is ok, not great and unless you enjoy sweating while eating, never eat in the smaller side room that is near the kitchen. When Lupa first opened I was there monthly for the feather weight ricotta gnocchi in fennel sausage ragu, the bucatini all amatriciana and the braised oxtail. I stopped going after a couple of meals where the food had been grossly oversalted and the oxtail was served with hard rasins, whereas they used to be properly rehydrated and plumped blending beautifuly with the meat.
  16. Do not forget the fried pig skin! I went to Sweatmans for the first time last year, it was the first leg of a fantastic eating weekend I had in Charleston. The pulled pork, seperated by white and dark, was fantastic, moist and full of pork flavor. The ribs and hash over rice were very good as well. What I forever long for is the fried pig skin, large pieces, fried to a deep bronze hue and incredibly crunchy, delicious.
  17. The roasted marrow bones at Landmarc, served with onion marmalade and grilled country bread are priced at $12.00
  18. A very close friend of mine who lives near Providence, in East Greenwich, RI, has his 40th birthday coming up. He is a lover of wine and I wanted to send him a case of various bottles. Is there anyone from or around Providence that can suggest a good wine store? Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
  19. Having had to make a number of connecting flights through Atlanta recently, one of the only good things I can say about the airport is the Chick-fil-A in the A terminal. It is a welcome sight for a New Yorker whose city is sadly lacking the establishment. Has anyone tried the new Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Minis on the breakfast menu? They are described as "Bite-sized Chick-fil-A Nuggets nestled in warm, mouth watering mini yeast rolls that are lightly coated with honey butter spread." Sounds pretty damn good.
  20. I went to Little Giant a couple of Saturday nights ago, a few days before their NY Times review. It was the single worst restaurant experiance I have ever had in Manahttan and I was born and raised here. I never even ate and swore that I would never return, that is until I received a phone call from one of the owners. I was looking forward to going Little Giant after reading some reviews and I liked the sound of their down to earth seasonal American menu. On the Saturday I went, the restaurant was still taking reservations, a policy that was changed as a result of the evening I was there. I arrived 20 minutes before my 9:30 PM reservation and the restaurant was packed to the rafters and 3 people deep at the small bar. When I gave my name to a guy holding a clip board (little fellow, looked like one of the Hobbits), he told me that they were running "about 20 minutes behind." Not a big deal. Since getting to the bar was an imposibility, I asked if he could reccomend a bar in the area, his response were that there were plenty all around but had no specifics to offer. Having lived her all my life but I nonetheless have not done much bar hopping around Orchard St.. So, out I went in search for a bar. After a two block walk with nothing in sight, the young lady I was with was freezing (It was particularly cold and she is Southern, a very poor combination). Out of respect to the girl's toes, we started to head back to the restaurant, when we spotted a bar across the street and up the block from Little Giant. Perhaps clip board guy is new to the area, but the bar is right there, you can see the restaurant from its front window. At 10:00 PM I was back in the restaurant. It was still packed and now I was told it would be another 20 minutes until I was seated. I was calm, decided to let the girl I was with defrost and get a drink at the bar after spotting a square inch of opening. If I lit my head on fire, I could not have gotten the bartender's attention. Between mixing drinks and making cappuccinos and espressos, this guy was deep in the weeds and never ever picked his head up once. I was ready to leave at this point and said as much to one of the owners, Tasha Garcia, who I was finaly able to get a hold of. She apologized, promised to get me and my date a drink immediately and asked if would wait a bit longer . Well, she is a very attractive and disarming woman, so I decided to stick it out. As the clock hit 11:00, I was out, and cursing the place as I left. The only thing the clip board guy taking names could say to me was "I don't blame you." I headed over to Landmarc and as usual had a great dinner, as always a true beacon in the night. That would be the end of the story, except for a call I received Sunday evening. It was Tasha Garcia of Little Giant. I am a cynical guy by nature, but she launched into the sincerest and most contrite of apologies. She fully admited that there was a complete breakdown in order at the restaurant the night before and s a result, they were canceling their policy of taking reservations. She implored me to return and to call her before I do. Despite the no reservation policy, she expalined that she would set aside a table for me and my guest for any time I desired. It was a smart business move on her part. With a phone call she turned someone who had nothing but awful things to say about her restaurant into a potential customer. It was also just a very nice thing for her to do and something that most restaurantures in this City in the same situation would not. I will be taking her up on her offer.
  21. Artichoke


    I had a late night dinner at Landmarc a couple of Saturday nights ago and it was as good as the numerous other times I have gone. I had the onion soup for the first time and it was what onion soup should be. The soup base, so often mediocre in many restaurants, was a rich beef stock. I ordered the braised lamb shank, which was delicious, incredibly tender and served with root vegetables. It was only after I ordered that I noticed a new item under the "Landmarc Specials" portion of the menu, a braised pork belly. Just saying "braised pork belly" gets me excited, has anyone had it at Landmarc? I will certainly be ordering it on my next visit. I have always received good wine reccomendations when eating at Landmarc and this time was no different. I had a 2000 Cabernet from a Napa winery called Eponymous and it was fantastic. Medium to full bodied, silky with rounded tanins and tons of dark berry and plum flavors. It was perfect with the braised lamb shank. It was the best new bottle I have tried in a while. Has anyone heard of this winery? I could barely find mention of it on the web.
  22. I just returned from a week in San Francisco. While I was there I came across an all natural bottled and canned tomato juice spiked with a bit of chili called Snap-E-Tom. It is produced by Del Monte Foods and tasted a lot better to similar tomato drinks I have had. It appears to be strictly distributed on the West coast. I was just curious if anyone else has ever come across this product.
  23. Thank you all very much for taking the time to respond. I shall report back on all my meals.
  24. For years I had enjoyed the bone marrow at Blue Ribbon. However, currently my favorite bone marrow in Manhattan is at Landmarc (179 West Broadway, between Leonard and Worth Street). Three very large marrow bones are served with an onion marmelade and toasted country bread. One of the litttle added features that I like about Landmarc's marrow is that the bones are not cleaned of the bits of meat that cling to the bone. It may not be the most dainty thing to do, but I love picking off these little crisp bits after finishing off the marrow.
  25. I am leaving Sunday for a week in San Francisco where I will be attending a work related conference. I am staying at the Clift hotel. I am looking for suggestions of restaurants in the area that would be a good option for a solo diner (serving at the bar). I do not know if a similar thread already exists, but I could not find it. Does the Zuni cafe serve dinner at their bar? I am open to all suggestions, I am simply looking for good food and good wine. Perhaps I should be more specific, but I have only been to San Fracisco once before so I feel I have everything to learn about the dinng scene. I will certainly be frequenting the Hog Island oyster bar at the Ferry Building market place where I had my best oyster experience to date. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.
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