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Everything posted by worm@work

  1. HINT: Subtitulos ← >> The Spirit of the Beehive?
  2. What's Cooking? ? clue: while across the street they were eating homemade tortillas ←
  3. Last night, my husband & me had the pleasure of dining at Cache, a private dinner club started by Ling & Hhlodesign from this very forum. An underground restaurant of sorts, every Sunday they host a communal table of 12 diners to a dinner revolving around a theme. Last night's dinner was aptly titled, "Yes, we're trying to kill you" as you'll see from the pictures/description below. We arrived a little early and had a chance to grab some pictures of Lorna in the kitchen and of the dining space before the rest of the guests arrived. We started with the signature Cache cocktail - a heady mix of fresh grapefruit juice, Vodka, Cointreau and bitters and nibbled on puff pastry topped with onions, parmigiano reggiano and chorizo (the picture was taken before it went into the oven. Once it came out, there was really no time to take a picture). The first course (and my favorite dish from the night) was bacon wrapped bacon - yes, you read that right. A big chunk of tender braised pork belly wrapped with bacon and baked. The crispy, salty bacon provided a great contrast to the soft, sweet pork belly and the dish had every flavor I could ever want in a dish. The bacon before it went into the oven: The final dish: The next course was a foie gras custard served with truffled wild mushrooms on crostini. While everyone else seemed to love the foie gras custard (with one guest making plans to build a swimming pool and fill it with the custard!), I was somehow least excited by this dish. I love foie as much for its texture as its flavor and I missed the texture I get when the foie is simply pan-seared instead. The truffled mushrooms on the other hand were delectable and were a really good accompaniment to the custard. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly eat any more animal fat, the duck confit pot pie arrived. The confit was housemade and had a complex musky flavor that was stronger than any duck confit I've had before. Topped with a perfectly flaky crust, this is the fanciest pot pie I've ever had! For dessert, we had creampuffs filled with homemade mint ice-cream and served with chocolate sauce. While I was wondering about the extra belly I seemed to have grown during the course of the meal, more temptation arrived in the form of hot-off-the-oven chocolate chip cookies! As anyone can see from the pictures, the food was wonderful and at least as good as most professional restaurants we've eaten at in Seattle. Henry & Lorna are great hosts and have managed to create an atmosphere that is professional and yet comfortable and inviting. What we enjoyed the most however was the company of the other guests. People brought some really interesting and even some hard-to-find wine to share and the conversation flowed easily as if we'd known each other for ages. There were some really experienced restaurant folks as well as just everyday food-lovers like us at the table and everyone seemed to get along just great. All in all, it was a really fun night and we really hope that Cache is able to retain both the quality of the food and the charm for a long time to come. Shalmanese (if you're reading this thread), it was really fun meeting you last night and we hope to hang out with you again soon. -w@w p.s. In the interest of full disclosure, I must add that we met Henry & Lorna a few months ago and have had the pleasure of dining with them on multiple occassions in the past. That being said, I received the same treatment as everyone else at the table and have tried my best to provide an unbiased review of the food.
  4. Hi All, Am planning a birthday bash for my husband and am at a loss when it comes to deciding on a location. Basically, we'll probably be about 15-20 ppl. I am looking for a place that'll let me make reservations for a group this size and that serves alcohol. Food isn't terribly important but obviously it helps if the food is good as well. There are likely to be a few vegetarians in the group.. so some veggie options would help as well. I really want to try and avoid the Cheesecake Factories of the world but am unable to come up with any better ideas . Oh and finally, we prefer a place on the eastside coz its a weekday night and ppl are going to be coming directly from work, i.e. MSFT... any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, w@w
  5. Prashad by Jiggs Kalra and others is a book I've always had great success with. Here's an egullet amazon link http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/817...3/egulletcom-20 The recipes are rather involved and don't really work for a quick weeknight dinner but if one is always rewarded at the end . That perfect butter chicken recipe alone is worth the price of the book imo...it's fun realizing why a dish became so popular in the first place! -w@w
  6. Here's a link to their website http://nimmypaul.com/ -w@w
  7. I strongly recommend Nimmy Paul who teaches traditional Syrian Christian Cooking in Kerala. She and her husband are incredibly hospitable and she;s a wonderful teacher as well. -w@w
  8. Yep, the theme was ostrich. I wasn't too excited about Chef Royal's dishes to be honest (burgers and satay seemed rather boring to me somehow and his plating wasn't terribly creative either imho) but all the judges seemed really impressed with the way everything tasted. I loved the idea of him mentoring a 12-year old. I don;t know how common this is but I was so impressed that he brought him along that i ended up rooting for him just for that. Bryan, I'd love to read the article. Can you post a link? -w@w
  9. Just wanted to second what Pan said. I am hoping to make the shrimp kababs this weekend. They look like something I can handle despite my ignorance when it comes to Parsi food . Percy, I've tried both your Americanized Dhansak recipe as well as your recipe for Akhoori and we really enjoyed both. Thanks so much for posting such detailed recipes and photographs. -w@w
  10. Hi Milagai, Ah, so the edible diyas project is going forward after all . Here's what google turned up "Dragees are to be used as "decoration only" because, per the FDA, they contain trace amounts of metal (ie: silver). They are, however, considered non toxic. Although people do consume them in some parts of the world, we recommend you remove them before eating confections." Hope this helps. -w@w
  11. Hi Rick, No major pointers on making the pakoras unfortunately . I just spice my batter with some ajwain, salt, chilli powder and powdered pomegranate seeds. Your menu sounds delectable... do post pictures if possible . -w@w
  12. Hi All, We are planning our very first vacation in 4 years (I've been in a PhD program and too broke and too busy to go anyplace) and we've decided we're visiting Mexico this December. This is our very first trip and we really don't know much about the region and would really appreciate any recommendations you can give us. We are both pretty devoted to food although the husband is only interested in the consumption part of the experience. One of the things I'd really like to do is to attend a cooking class at Susana Trilling's cooking school in Oaxaca. Apart from that, we'd like to visit some ruins and also shop for local arts and crafts if possible. We also want to spend at least a couple of days in a beach that's relatively unspoilt and not touristy.. the icing on the cake would it be if we could also find good seafood there . Right now, we don't even know which cities we want to go to.. all we know is that we need to go to Oaxaca for my dream class! Like I said before, I would really appreciate any advice on cities to visit and places to eat in those cities! Thanks so much, -w@w
  13. Hi Rick, I've experimented with making pakoras beforehand and reheating them and was somehow not satisfied with reheating them in the oven. The last couple of times I made pakoras for guests, I fried them lightly beforehand (till they turn slightly brown) and refried them in hot oil for just a couple of minutes before serving. This way, I am able to serve a reasonable number of pakoras in a short amount of time and I was really pleasantly surprised by how fresh/crisp they tasted. If you'd rather do fish than vegetables, then tandoori pomfret might be a good idea.. would go with the rest of your tandoori theme on the first course but still offer a good variation from the rest of the meat on the menu. You could do these beforehand on the grill and just reheat at the last minute. I agree with Milagai that I would have gone with a lighter vegetable than potatoes as well (Saag is a good suggestion or Bhindi masala perhaps?).. I doubt you'd need potatoes as a filler with this menu . In any case, good luck with your dinner and if you can, then do post pictures and let us know how it all went. -w@w
  14. I'd really like to offer up my services as well... even getting to see this banquet will be such a treat . Really looking forward to the rest of this blog ...
  15. Hi ludja, Yep, most of these would be considered chaat (except the potato sandwiches and the kulfi probably). I haven't really used too many Indian cookbooks, especially not books that feature a lot of street food. Tarla Dalal has a book called Chaat that I found to be reasonable in parts but really quite poor in others. For one thing, I like books that offer some history and lore on the recipes they contain and this one really doesn't touch upon that at all. Secondly, some of the recipes don't end up tasting like they do on the streets in India and require quite a lot of tweaking to get them right. So I wouldn't recommend it heartily to someone who has had no experience eating this food before. There's a website called Mumbai-Masala that I often visit to check if my recipe seems mostly right or to look up ideas for a meal I'm planning and Ive found it to be really quite good. Albeit not as handy or informative as a cookbook, I think its a great resource as far as actual recipes are concerned. Hope this helps. -w@w
  16. Hi Kim, Its cornstarch . I went back and added some notes to make the ingredients listed a little easier to source. -w@w
  17. Hi All, I added some of the recipes to recipegullet. Recipe for Kulfi Recipe for Pani Puri Recipe for Ragda Patties If any of you try these out, do let me know how the dish turned out. -w@w
  18. Ragda Patties/Pattice Serves 6 as Appetizer. Another classic example of Street Food from Bombay, Ragda patties (or pattice as spent in most mumbai restaurants) is my idea of comfort food. 1 c Dried White peas 2 Medium sized potatoes Salt to taste 1/8 tsp turmeric powder 3 Thai Green chillies finely chopped 2 small onions finely chopped 2 T finely chopped coriander leaves 1 pinch of asafoetida 2 T Green (cilantro) chutney 2 T Tamarind chutney Ingredients for Green Chutney 1 Bunch of cilantro 3 Green chillies Salt to taste Ingredients for Tamarind Chutney 1/2 c Tamarind (available in a block in Indian stores) 2/3 c jaggery grated 1 inch stick of cinnamon 1/8 tsp Black Salt 1/2 tsp Roasted cumin powder 2/3 tsp Dry Ginger Powder 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder 1. Soak the dried peas in warm water overnight. Drain and cook in about 2 cups of water with salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida till soft but not completely mushy. Take a couple of tbsp of the cooked peas and mash them and add to the remaining peas. Add some more water and simmer for a few minutes till you have a thick soupy consistency. 2. Boil, peel and mash the potatoes. Mix the potatoes with the green chillies and some salt and form into little balls. 3. Heat some oil in a skillet. Flatten the balls slightly and fry them in the oil on both sides till golden brown. 4. Place two patties on a plate and pour the ragda (pea mixture) over them. Dribble the green cilantro chutney and the tamarind chutney. Sprinkle finely chipped onion and cilantro and serve hot. 5. For Green Chutney: Grind cilantro with green chillies and salt adding a little water to facilitate grinding. 6. Boil the tamarind in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. Cool and extract the pulp from the tamarind and strain to remove seeds and fiber. (The straining step is unnecessary if using the bottled tamarind paste). In a heavy bottomed pan, cook the tamarind pulp with the grated jaggery on a low flame. Once the jaggery has completely dissolved in the paste, add the stick of cinnamon and cook for another 15 minutes. Add the red chilli powder, the cumin powder, dry ginger powder, black salt and salt to taste. Stir well and cook for another minute or so. Remove from heat and let cool. Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or so. Note: i.)Dried white peas or white "vatana" is available in most Indian stores. If you tell the grocer that you intend to make ragda patties, he/she should be able to direct you to the right ingredient. ii.) If you don't have jaggery, you can also use either brown sugar or palm sugar or piloncillo instead. iii.) Asafoetida has a pretty strong (perhaps even nasty) odor so make sure you use only a little and store the rest in a tightly closed container. iv.) Dry Ginger Powder is called "soonth" in Hindi and is again readily available in Indian grocery stores. Keywords: Appetizer, Vegetarian, Indian ( RG1796 )
  19. Pani Puri Serves 6 as Appetizer. One of the most popular examples of street food from India, pani puri offers an interesting contrast of textures and flavors that literally burst in your mouth in every bite! 1/2 c mung beans 1 Medium-Sized Potato 6 Dates 1/2 T tamarind 1/8 tsp black salt 1-1/2 bunch cilantro 4 Green Chillies 1 bunch mint leaves 1-1/2 T Pani Puri Masala Salt to Taste 1 l ice cold water 24 Crispy Puris for Pani Puri 1. Soak the moong beans overnight and steam till they are cooked but retain some crunch. Boil the potatoes whole and peel and dice. 2. Deseed the dates and cook them with a little water till they're soft. Boil 1/2 a cup of water and dissolve the tamarind in the same. Strain to remove seeds and fibre from the tamarind. You won't need to strain if you're using the tamarind paste available at Indian grocery stores. However the raw tamarind available in blocks offer better flavor than the tamarind paste. Grind the dates with some water to form a thick sauce and mix the tamarind paste. The sourness-sweetness ration is a matter of taste.. so you may have to add more or less tamarind depending on how you like the sauce. 3. Grind one bunch of cilantro with 3-4 green chillies and a little water to form a green chutney. Ideally, this shouldn't be too watery but add enough water to ensure smooth grinding. 4. Grind the remaining cilantro with the bunch of mint leaves and a couple of green chillies and a little water. Add this mixture to one litre of cold water in a pitcher and mix well. Add the pani puri masala and stir well. 5. Make a small depression in each of the puris and fill with a small qty of moong, a couple of pieces of potato, a dab of the cilantro chutney and a drop of the date-tamarind chutney and arrange on a plate. Each diner also gets a cup with some of the spiced cold water in it. 6. Before eating, dip the filled puris into the spicy water and put the entire puri into your mouth to consume! 7. Optionally, one can substitute the mung beans with boondi (small pearls of fried chick pea flour batter also available ready to eat in Indian grocery stores). 8. One can also make the puris at home. Use 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 tbsp of semolina and salt. Add water and knead into a smooth dough. Keep aside for about 1/2 an hour. Form the dough into small balls and roll into little puris about 1/8" thick. Deep Fry in hot oil till golden brown and allow to cool. Keywords: Appetizer, Vegetarian, Indian ( RG1795 )
  20. worm@work


    Kulfi Serves 6 as Dessert. Kulfi is one of the very few frozen desserts we eat in India. Traditionally bought from a street vendor, this dessert is served in disposable earthenware pots. 1-1/2 l whole milk 2 c sugar 1/4 pt of double cream (Basically we use the thick layer of cream that forms on top of the raw milk we buy in India. Here I substitute it with Devon double cream which seems to work pretty well). 1 T cornstarch 1 T semolina 3 T cold milk A few strands of saffron 1/4 c almonds, blanched, peeled and slivered 1/2 c green pistachios, blanched and sliced thin 1 tsp green cardamom powder A drop of rose water (optional) 1. Soak the pistachios & almonds in warm water for a few hours. It should now be easy to peel the nuts. Sliver the almonds and thinly slice the pistachios and keep aside. 2. Boil the milk on a low to medium flame in a pot with a thick bottom. Keep stirring the milk from time to time. You want to ensure that there is absolutely no scalding since that ruins the smell of the final dish. Keep boiling until the milk is reduced to half its original volume. 3. Dissolve the corn flour & semolina in the cold milk and stir well to avoid any lumps and add the mixture to the boiling milk along with the sugar and cardamom powder. 4. Dissolve the saffron in some hot milk and add this to the boiling milk (I use a mortar pestle to dissolve some saffron in a tsp of hot milk and pour the mixture into the milk. This gives the entire mixture a nice even color and reduces the qty of saffron I end up having to use! 5. Boil the mixture for another 10 minutes till its really thick and is approaching custard-like consistency. 6. Let the mixture cool. Then add most of the almonds & pistachio keeping aside a small quantity for garnish. 7. Whisk the double cream till its thick and fluffy and then fold it into the condensed milk mixture. 8. At this point, one could just pour the mixture into earthen pots or kulfi moulds, garnish and freeze. However, if you have access to an ice-cream maker, then its better to chill the mixture and freeze it in an ice-cream maker since it ensures a much smoother and creamier consistency. Keywords: Easy, Dessert, Ice Cream, Indian, Ice Cream Maker ( RG1794 )
  21. I'll type up the recipes and put them up here tomorrow for sure... It'll be nice to have more ppl trying some non-standard Indian fare at home. -w@w
  22. I must mention here that we are really just home cooks with very mediocre kitchen skills but we do all share a deep love for good food and good company. My parents always fed us well despite their extremely busy schedules and to a great extent, food was the one way my otherwise shy and reticent parents managed to come out of their shell and openly display their affection for others . Abra & Shel were the most gracious guests possible. They were perfectly comfortable eating with their bare hands, managing to eat pani puris w/o spilling a drop and getting their tongues around the unpronouncable names of dishes and ingredients.. they'd have done any Bombayite proud! As for the photos, Abra's photography skills are hardly to blame. Apart from the paucity of light in the room, presentation always ends up taking second place when it comes to Indian food and I can never manage to make my food look pretty somehow . Overall, we all ate well and my parents have picked this dinner as one of the most memorable nights from this trip to the US and I have Abra & Shel to thank for the same! -w@w p.s. If anyone wants any recipes, please feel free to pm me.
  23. For entirely selfish reasons, i vote for Le Carta de Oaxaca. It's the only one of the three I haven't been to and I'd love to see a photoblog. Plus, what Abra said about being completely different from all the other stuff this week.
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