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Posts posted by Sony

  1. And, at least in my experience, very long lasting. I can still taste this horrible stuff in the back of my mouth for 10-20 minutes after eating...

    Yep, that was the weird thing. The solanine taste this time was so potent and persistent.

    It's interesting that every potato in this batch doesn't taste bitter. Maybe 20% of them. For now, unless I can find a way to identify the culprits, I've resorted to peeling them. This seems to help but I lose a yummy, nutritious layer of flavor. Boo.

  2. I played!

    My pick was Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. With only Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes, a small onion, canola oil and 1 lone habanero pepper, one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted resulted: Essential Simmered Tomato-Habanero Sauce.

    With long work days, I haven't been able to pick up the ingredients to make a full-out dish from the book. But in the last 24 hours, I've eaten this sauce on baked fish, on top of scrambled eggs, out of the pot... :biggrin:

    It's delicious. And makes me wonder why this book has sat on my shelf, unused, for so long. Thanks for the inspiration, Daniel!

  3. These were freshly-dug potatoes. I'd only ever heard about sunlight exposure CAUSING solanine production. Now I know better. :smile:

    I've just moved to upstate NY, but I believe it's been an unusually wet growing season here. I wish I were pleasantly surprised by the tanginess/bitterness, but I guess my tastes are less complex.

    Thanks for the infomation, Russ!

  4. Just had some delicious red bliss potatoes that I picked up at the farmers' market...simply boiled, little butter, salt and pepper. Enjoyed almost every single one, but the last one still has my mouth "tingling" even after brushing my teeth and rinsing with mouthwash.

    I suspect it had a high concentration of solanine, but none of them had even the slightest trace of green color. Does anyone have any advice for picking potatoes? Or how to get this weird sensation out of my mouth ? :raz:

  5. -The "oyster" of a roasted chicken. Especially when it's wrapped in a crispy bit of chicken skin.

    -An unctuous piece of braised beef short rib- where the connective tissue has almost completely melted away into a full-bodied sauce

    -Pink, almost rare spice-rubbed flank steak or skirt steak

    johnsmith, you're not alone. I've yet to taste foie gras, too...but with so many other choices around, it's hard to say that I miss what I haven't known.

  6. Hummmm...that's quite a number of allergies, but I'm glad your friend has someone like you to face all the challenges!

    Some initial ideas I have are:


    -Polenta made with homemade chicken broth, enriched with oilve oil and flavored with fresh herbs

    -Potatoes mashed with homemade chicken broth, fresh herbs s&p and enriched with olive oil

    (Roasted garlic would probably flavor both of these nicely as well)

    -Fragrant rice (jasmine, basmati, etc)- cooked plain or made into pilaf


    -Chicken cacciatore

    -Chicken curry (those that don't contain cream or butter additions)

    -Chicken piccata done without flour coating (thicken sauce with cornstarch if necessary) or butter (enrich sauce with olive oil if necessary)

    -Chicken pieces pan roasted with olive oil, wild mushrooms, fresh thyme and rosemary, thin lemon slices and shallots

    -Beef stew (brown meat without flour). Thicken sauce with cornstarch after meat and veggies are cooked so cornstarch doesn't lose thickening power

    -Lamb chops pan roasted or grilled with olive oil, rosemary and garlic

    -Flank steak rubbed with spice mixture (I combine equal parts of salt, brown sugar, garlic, oregano and chili powder or curry powder- sounds weird but tastes good)

    I don't think veggies should pose too much of a problem if they're fresh, prepared simply and accented with fresh herbs, garlic and rosemary.

    I'm not much of a baker, unfortunately, but I have substituted flaxseed mixture (1 TB milled flaxseed mixed with 3 TB water per egg- allow mixture to sit for 2-3 minutes before using) in quick breads for egg with no ill effects. It did not work as well for me when I used the substitution in pancakes- they never set up right- so I'm not sure if this substitution works for non-baked goods.

    Please let me know if you need more specific recipes- I usually just wing it in the kitchen, but just thought I'd throw out some ideas. :smile: Good luck!

  7. Mmm. Grapefruit granita.

    The best thing to do, I think, is just leave a tip, as you did. At most restaurants at this level, the tip will go into a pool and be allocated however the restaurant allocates it. Whether Scott is part of tip pool, I don't know, but if he isn't then presumably he's paid a somewhat higher wage to compensate. The thank-you note was a really nice touch, though, and I'm sure it was worth more to Scott than an extra $20. Well, I shouldn't speak for Scott, but it would be worth more to most restaurant managers I know.

    Phew- OK! We didn't expect him to be serving dishes, but it was a pleasant surprise. Glad you got to experience the restaurant, and best wishes on your travels (which I'm following closely, as I'm travelling to upstate NY next week) :smile:

  8. I wanted to share a wonderful occasion enjoyed at Enoteca Vin in Raleigh, NC and the best example of restaurant service I’ve ever experienced.

    I had the pleasure of dining at Enoteca Vin in October, and I was blown away by the place. Raleigh is incredibly lucky to have this culinary resource. I liked everything about the restaurant, from the house-made charcuterie to the attitude of the waitstaff (well, I confess I found the desserts to be substantially below the level of everything else, but that was the one flaw).

    Interesting- we actually asked if dessert could be skipped (neither of us have much of a sweet tooth) but they sent out a grapefruit granita to cleanse our palates at the end of the meal.

    I realize that I never asked my question :raz: . So, Scott was the general manager, sommelier, and also served a few of our courses with detailed descriptions. Other courses were served by 2 other staff members. We just decided to leave a large tip in cash at the table and sent Scott a thank you card. Should we have set aside a separate amount of the tip for him?

  9. I LOVE PJ’s expression in his Egullet T-shirt- very refined and suave for an infant!

    Anyway, I wanted to share a wonderful occasion enjoyed at Enoteca Vin in Raleigh, NC and the best example of restaurant service I’ve ever experienced. It started with a question on EGullet’s SE forum about choosing Enoteca vs. another restaurant for a celebration dinner (both places were reviewed positively, prices were roughly apps, $7-13, mains, $20-35). The general manager, Scott, saw the question and personally contacted me to inquire further about details (e.g. how many people, reserving a private space, etc.)

    Well, my special occasion was no more than a 2-person dinner for an anniversary. On top of that, the budget for the evening was $80 for food and wine pre-tip. Both of us were full-time students at the time. We cooked frugally and skipped bad pizza and take-out so we could really savor a dining experience once or twice a year.

    When asked about the scale of the celebration, I felt a little sheepish in expressing that it was a 2-person dinner, and on top of that, we were on a specific budget. I said that we would be happy to come in to order off the regular menu, as it looked wonderful. Scott tactfully asked what our budget was, what food preferences we had, etc., and said that he would speak with the chef to customize a menu for us. Assured that we were in good hands, I only mentioned dietary restrictions and eagerly anticipated the night.

    We were not let down. Upon seating, we were handed a small printed menu with an inscription of our names and the occasion. We were astonished at the extensive listing of dishes and thoughtful wine pairings. Indeed, we were pleasantly surprised throughout the evening with additional courses, such as a tasting of olive oils. Scott and the servers provided thoughtful descriptions of the wines and dishes (for example noting that one of the olive oils would bloom with a banana afternote- it truly did! And I might have missed it by moving too quickly to a different oil to taste). Other tastes throughout the evening were equally exhilarating- deviled eggs, tuna tartare, mussels with white beans- I can still taste them if I think carefully.

    The next day, we were sent a thank-you e-mail from Scott and an invitation to celebrate our next anniversary and other occasions in the meantime with the restaurant. As it turns out, the relationship is no more and I moved from the area 6 months later. However, I have a wonderful memory and benchmark of amazing service. The generosity of the staff there was as satisfying as the excellent food.

    Kudos to Enoteca Vin- I will be back for a visit when I return to the area.

  10. Hi everyone!

    Update- I did end up getting the Fiskars as a gift- haven't used them yet, but they look decent, though the design reminds me a little of the 1st pair of kitchen shears I ever had (came with a set of cheap Farberware knives I got during college).

    I'll probably end up keeping these for now- I don't want to seem unappreciative of a thoughtful gift, and I bet they'll be sturdier than my old ones. Thanks for your advice, and I'll keep these suggestions (and further ones) in mind for the future!

  11. I wonder if powdered chocolate mousse might be salvaged by layering in parfaits with real whipped cream and some decent kind of chocolate cake.

    I was going to suggest that if it is somewhat palatable, a very popular dessert I've seen fly off tables at potlucks is a parfait of cubed chocolate cake, chocolate pudding (where the mousse might fill in nicely), Cool Whip or whipped cream, and generous layers of toffee bits. Repeat layers as tall as you'd like, ending with whipped cream

    Occasionally, the chocolate filling has been spiked with Kaluha, but I bet a little coffee would lend its flavor nicely. :biggrin:

  12. Thanks so much everyone! I'm checking into these products, especially corn- and canola-based margarines. Unfortunately, all that I've seen so far contain soy lecithin, soy protein isolates and/or whey. For example, many Canola Harvest products contain whey, and their dairy-free margarine has a small amount of soy lecithin- although customer service was awfully helpful and nice :smile:

    The coconut oil suggestion is interesting and led me to Spectrum products- their coconut oil and palm-oil based shortening should be decent for baking. Badiane, unfortunately, a pork allergy was also discovered in this battery of tests- so no lard, but a good suggestion for those who can use it.

    Now it's just a matter of searching for something buttery to melt on toast, veggies, etc. Maybe I will try my hand out at making my own margarine after all :wink:

    Thanks again- and suggestions are of course still welcome!

  13. Hi All,

    My birthday is coming up, and I'm in the mood to snip, shred and spatchcock...so kitchen shears are on my wish list!

    I don't want to cause anyone to break the bank, so can anyone advise on the best pair of shears? Some pluses would be:

    -Take apart design

    -Sturdy enough to cut through smaller chicken bones and cartilage

    -around $20 or less

    I've looked around some on Amazon, but it seems like people have hit-or-miss experiences with the same product-so I figured ya'll could offer some useful advice!

    I happened to see a pair of Fiskars kitchen scissors on sale at Williams Sonoma for $8- if anyone's had good/bad experiences with those, please let me know. If good, that would be an affordable gift I wouldn't mind asking for :smile:


  14. Canola Harvest used to have a dairy-free margarine (I haven't looked for it since I switched to Earth Balance).  The  website says it's 100% canola - but you'd have to email them or check a container  to see if it has any of the other ingredients you're avoiding.

    Good luck!

    Great- I've e-mailed them to see if they can send an ingredient list! Unfortunately, it's not carried at my local grocery store, but I can probably have a case ordered if necessary.

  15. Hi all,

    Hoping that someone out there knows of a margarine or butter substitute that is not made with soybean or peanut oil or any dairy derivatives (for allergy reasons).

    I'm hoping there's something "butter-ish" out there, even though oil can be subbed in most recipes just fine. I also know I can make my own soy-free margarine, but was hoping something was pre-made for convenience.

    Please help.....thanks.

    Edited to add: Also, soy protein isolate is not allowed. For now, soy lecithin also has to be avoided.

  16. Phlawless, your narrative has been beautiful (as well as pictures of your home and family- M is a cutie!)

    I've been away on an internship for a few months but will be coming back to Chapel Hill (and the farmers markets) soon! You're making me more and more anxious to return!

    Best continued luck with your locavore quest- your blog has been truly inspiring.

  17. Thanks Sam- that's fascinating information!

    I went for a whole snapper instead of the Silverbrite since I have a reliable recipe source for that. Besides, the salmon didn't look like it came from one of those mystical rivers :wink:

  18. Another idea- make a mixture of ricotta cheese (part-skim works fine), sweetener of choice (honey would probably work nicely), and a dash of almond or vanilla extract. Dollop into juicy peach halves and sprinkle with cinnamon. Yum!

  19. But please keep in mind that Chum is *not* high quality, fatty salmon. If you adjust your expectations accordingly you'll probably enjoy the fish more. Does that make sense?

    Yep, that makes perfect sense!

    Miz Ducky- thanks for the link! Those recipes (and petite's experience) make me think that if I try it, perhaps I'll go for the fillets or steaks instead of whole fish because of the lower oil content. I'll have to see how big the whole fish are and figure out if I can regulate the heat to cook it without overdrying.

    Duckduck- I don't have roses, but I do have some potted herbs. This may be a little off-topic, but in case the fish is a total bust- do you just bury it in the soil to fertilize? And will cooked fish work as well as raw? :raz:

  20. Hello!

    I'm trying to gague people's opinions on this type of salmon. From what I understand, it's generally cheaper than most other wild salmons and has mild taste and lower oil content.

    After this, it seems that what I hear about this fish varies widely. Some people love it for its milder flavor and ease on the wallet. Others say they'd eat cat food before touching it. :blink:

    Anyone have personal experiences? Stories to share? I'm thinking of getting a whole one to throw on the grill but don't want to end up with a ton of second-rate fish. Thanks!

  21. Hi!

    Thought I saw the promo for your show- turns out that it was some new show for Paula Deen's boys, not you....just saw the tail end of the commercial where they were talking about travelling in search of good food.

    Anyway, I'll be keeping my eyes open for yours! Continue to eat well....

  22. Thanks everyone!

    The next time I make fried chicken, I will try the double dip and deep fry (unless advised that it can work with pan-frying).

    Since I was cooking for guests, I figured I go with the familiar and will save the experiment for myself (or people who can tolerate take-out if things go wrong :biggrin: )

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