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Chris Amirault

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Chris Amirault

  1. It's better than my homemade version, which truth be told I haven't made for a while.....
  2. My memory is not as good as yours, I fear, but it seems to be based on the IBRHS. It's very good, to be sure! I went through one bottle quickly but am saving the next. When I crack it open I'll report back.
  3. Well how about this! I gave up hope for sating my Inner Beauty jones long ago... until this morning!!
  4. R.I.P. indeed. Prudhomme was a really important figure for me in the early stages of cooking and eating food beyond bland Yankee fare. My first and only trip to K-Paul's in 1986 was revelatory and started my interest in restaurants. Here's a story I wrote in the weeks following Katrina but never tried to publish because I couldn't get the tone right. * * * * * My first trip to NOLA was in the mid-80s, when I was finishing college and attending a conference. During my junior year and the subsequent year off, I had smoked through Paul Prudhomme's first cookbook, Louisiana Kitchen, severa
  5. Nicely puffy there, Hennes!
  6. Thanks. since I will be able to make the oleo saccharum for the punch myself, I may forgo the garnish on the punch. But the horse neck is important visually in the toast, among other things.
  7. Well. A lot has happened in the last several weeks. I walked the bride and groom through much of the content here -- thanks to everyone for their contributions! -- and we settled on two drinks: a punch for the transition from ceremony to reception and a bubbly toast for the best man's speech. I then set about identifying available ingredients, testing recipes, having recipes confirmed with the couple, and finally researching the two of them for the names. There is also a side project wrapping up that involves the design and printing of cocktail cards for the guests to take home. Here are
  8. Thanks, again, everyone, for these responses. I'm going to have the first conversation with the couple this weekend, and I wrote up some framing comments/questions for that discussion. Here they are: * * * * * First Each of you tell me the story you'd like to be able to tell on the day after the wedding about this drink: what was it, what happened, and why. Some Contextual Concerns Bartender and waitstaff quality/training. Batched vs fresh ingredients. Timing. Glupability, intentional production delays, & drunkness. Ingredient, ice, & prep quality control. The L
  9. These are all very helpful responses -- thanks! Keep 'em coming!
  10. Just got one of these for dirt cheap as my home scale bit it tonight. Will report back.
  11. Hi. I have been asked to design a wedding cocktail for an event in late spring. I've created cocktails for events in the past, but all of those have been in my control as bartender. In this situation, I'll be part of the wedding and thus not coordinating cocktail prep and service, which changes my role. So I'm wondering what two different groups think about two different topics. 1. If you have been a guest or participant at a wedding with a signature cocktail, or 2. If you have catered or bartended a wedding with a signature cocktail, tell me about that drink and the experience
  12. At this point, for me freezing would have few benefits, and fresh has many. Indeed, I usually make too many tortillas given that they are remarkably inexpensive: if you can get access to large (50 pound) bags of corn, which typically cost less than a buck a pound in AZ, then the product costs are quite low. While the time/effort costs aren't minor, they involve a lot of unattended time, and if you get good at the process and do a bit of planning ahead it's pretty easy to make a 1-2 dozen batch as needed.
  13. Hi rbenash! I believe that assumption is incorrect if you plan to make tortillas. I have never had any success freezing fresh nixtamal or masa and then using it for tortillas, with a vacuum sealer and deep freeze. I know it's sold frozen at Mexican markets in the US southwest, but it's my sense that it's for tamales, not tortillas. YMMV. For tortillas, I follow Diana Kennedy's model roughly: two rounded tablespoons of pickling lime/cal added to the corn and cold water in a large stock pot, brought to ~160-170F (bubbles on surface, she says), then covered to sit for 18-24 hours. I rins
  14. Holy cow. I'm ordering a Benton's ham then. Thank you all so much! I'll report back.
  15. Hi folks. Last year, I was very happy to buy a Virginia country ham from Edwards for the holidays, and I want to do so again. However, the price has jumped over 40% (from $90 to $130 for a 15-16 lb uncooked, bone-in ham) in the last year. I know pork prices are zooming up, but it prompts me to post here to see if anyone has had any good experiences with other mail-order Virginia hams. Thanks in advance!
  16. I've been paging through my copy of the Morgenthaler book here and there today, and I think it's really terrific -- and fills exactly the need for a book on technique. I'm only 40 pages in, but I'm already convinced that this book would be the basis for any training I'd do with restaurant staff or home aficionados. (I'd add Gary Regan's Joy of Mixology, which goes into some other issues including serving/managing guests, a gap in JM's book noted by Rafa.) It's also a beautiful object, great visual design and terrific to hold.
  17. Sad news for Providence folks: Matt & Kate are moving to Boston to open Townsman. Last night at Farmstead is Sunday, June 1. I hope folks will be able to attend and give them a hearty thanks!
  18. Ha! That's it! Ask the customers to bring their own ice. Problem solved!
  19. What Dave said. I'd also consider that bulk quality bagged ice is a good option if you have access to a freezer. You might consider that ice as a loss leader: as we all know here, ice is a key ingredient, and broken, wet ice will make lousy drinks.... Finally, don't forget -- or, read carefully if you haven't -- Dave Arnold's definitive series on cocktails at Cooking Issues. Here's the relevant post; the takeaway is that if you shake hard with a full tin of reasonably dry ice for ten seconds or so then fine strain, you're probably gonna be ok.
  20. Hey, in a New England winter, I'll take 60C plates.
  21. Well, I'll be stealing that idea! Thanks! You could also use one of those Chinese plate tongs to grab 'em.
  22. I think the Monin is what's known as a rich simple syrup, meaning more than a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. Someone around here will know that. But, regardless of that, DeGroff tends to go a bit on the sweet side as compared to other bartenders. Try cutting back and seeing what you think.
  23. It was an honor to attend Steven Shaw's memorial service yesterday with Dean McCord, his wife Marcella, Katie Loeb, Sam Kinsey, John Deragon, and Mitch Weinstein. All rooms of both floors of the funeral home we're packed with friends, relatives and others, and dozens of us later attended his graveside service with Ellen, his mom Penny, and his son PJ. Both were humbling displays of the wide, deep reach of Steven's life. Though my tears dripped steadily all day, I found myself laughing at new stories and nodding at familiar traits; though we were all devastated, we were all grateful to be amo
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