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Everything posted by maremosso

  1. I have often had larb in Thai restaurants, and after reading this thread I took the plunge and made some for myself the other day. It may not be strictly the traditional larb, but it was delicious all the same. It goes down a treat in our hot and tropical climate. Didn't have galangal, so I used fresh ginger. Didn't have kaffir lime leaves, so I used some local (tender) lime leaves from the garden. Didn't have Thai basil, so I used my italian basil. Bird chilies, no problem - got loads growing. Ah yes, instead of chicken/pork/beef, I used flaked smoked mackerel, which I had just smoked in my smoker. Great result!
  2. Bananas in salt. Crusty bread chunks into red wine. Carrot and cucumber sticks into a mayo/soy/crushed walnuts dip. Pineapple spears into honey. Chocolate squares into caviar.
  3. I too followed Gifted Gourmet's advice and used Epicurious' recipe for carrot cake. I am no expert at this particular cake - the result was good enough, but not worth the trouble. I should have read at least some of the 203 reviews, about the icing (and the cake) being too soft, but I didn't before I started.
  4. [quotte Wouldn't mind one of these at home, along with a pomegrante and a persimmon. Think I live in the wrong zone? ←
  5. I just wanted to add that you will not find the likes of Le Marais anywhere in BA. The atmosphere is completely different, more reminiscent of Italy circa 1950. The prices are incredibly low, but Argentina still has to come out of the woods, and not many goods are actually made there. Whatever is imported is very expensive, perhaps more so than in the country of origin. But do go for the atmosphere, the food (particularly the meat dishes), and, most of all, the people! Bon Voyage!
  6. That Mall is Galeria Pacifico, very elegant and upmarket (for Buenos Aires). But be careful when you walk around the area, it's fulll of touts and daylight muggings in full view of the police are not unheard of.
  7. Of course you are right about Recoleta, Anil - it's nowhere near the financial district for example. But for me, staying in Martinez, it felt like it!
  8. So, could your strange fruit have been a "mela cotogna"?
  9. Hal, believe me, it would be very very hard to find an area anywhere in Buenos Aires without cheek to jowl cafes, bars and restaurants. It's a city that never sleeps, and no self-respecting Porteno would even dream of dining earlier than 10 p.m. I agree about Palermo, any time of day it's safe, very European and full of great places to stop and eat. Recoleta is the posh downtown area, safe but for the odd incident here and there. Steer away from the restaurants around the Design Center, as they are only typical tourist traps (the Hard Rock Cafe included). On Sundays, I strongly recommend the San Telmo area for the open air antique market, live tango in the streets, and some nice bars all around. At night the place comes alive in a different way, and the tango night clubs are absolutely great. Boca is a must see, but not great for food. Good luck, I am sure you'll love BA, and her people. P.S. Re Le Marais, I find it kind of dead nowadays. Les Halles next door has more and better restaurants.
  10. I am stumped too... Kaki (or diosperi) are orange, not brown. Medlar (nespole/loquats) definitely have large seeds, and also are yellowish orange, turning brown only when unfit to eat. Corbezzoli are smaller than golf-ball size. They are yellow then red when ripe. At a stretch they could be dark red, but downright brown would mean overripe and over sweet. No bitter tannin taste there. Mangosteen fruit is brown, golf ball sized and crunchy inside. But also very sweet and delicious. Besides, it's an Asian fruit, not Italian. Sorry, I have no idea, but do let us know when you find out!
  11. Do you mean like Le Marais as a near Easten/Jewish neighborhood, or as a gay hangout? Hard to say what would equal Le Marais, the ambiance in Palermo Viejo is more like a 1950s version of Rome's Trastevere area. But it does teem with all sorts of eateries, though I think the restaurants in Puerto Madeiro far superior in quality. Try also the Acassuso/San Isidro strip adjacent to the Polo Club. La Caballerizza is excellent, with a very good wine selection as well as unbeatable meats. But they also have another branch in Puerto Madero. La Bistecca, La Parolaccia, Cabanas Las Lilas and El Mirasol all serve the traditional "parrilla Argentina", and all have top quality meats and wines. Sucre in Alto Palermo also comes to mind, had some great fish there, served with a Bloody Mary sauce (alcohol-less). Kansas on Avenida Libertador in Martinez is wonderful too...
  12. Having just spent 6 months in South America, I would say that Peruvian cuisine is distinctive in its use of local vegetables, particularly root vegetables, various kind of corn and many types of greens which are not available anywhere else. But there is a huge Asian influence in Peruvian cuisine, and the general cooking procedures are heavily reliant on European methods. IMHO, the most distinctive cuisines are: Italian, Chinese, Indian and French. French owes a huge debt to Italy in its fundamentals, but undoubtedly developped a character all its own.
  13. maremosso

    Prawn bisque

    Thank you all for your help. I made the Bisque following jackal10's guidelines. I used raw prawn shells, since I had shelled the prawns (here they are called "white" prawns, and are tastier than the bluish variety), marinated them in lime juice, a little Tequila and chili flakes, skewered them, sauteed them and served them as appetizers on a fennel salad. I was careful to add the Cognac to the roasting shells, and flamed it as suggested. And yes, I used the heads and all. Then barely simmered the stock and ground it, but this is where the difficulty came in: parts of the head shells were really too hard to grind down properly, even with a 600W Braun processor. So I had to remove the hard bits by hand. After sieving and filtering the bisque many many times I finally got a gorgeous thick liquid, well worth the effort in the end. Next time I'll pick off the hardest bits ahead of time. The roasted flavour of the Cognac is the unbeatable touch.
  14. maremosso

    Pasta water

    No. Throw it away.
  15. maremosso


    Port keeps longer than red wine. Around a month or so, or even longer, but a lot depends on the ambient conditions, i.e. humidity etc. As it oxidizes, the colour will change to brown and then tobacco. But before it's completely ruined you could use it to boil mushrooms (champignons, stemmed). Add a little soy sauce (Tamari will work well), and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Boil till the resulting sauce is slightly thickened, and serve at room temperature.
  16. Hmmm... sundal and usal - what are they?
  17. Italian aniseed biscotti are definitely my favourite... but premium Savoiardi, and Argentine Alfajores come close too.
  18. maremosso

    Prawn bisque

    Seafood is really plentiful here in Goa, and I would like to make some Prawn Bisque starting from scratch. I would appreciate some how-to advice for the prawn stock. Thank you all.
  19. Whippy, the dirty sock/ sweats "bouquet" is typical of the fermentation process of the cashew apple. I know this is the one bugbear that Goans (and the whole Malabar coast) has had to contend with in order to make feni palatable to the outside world. There is a local feni manufacturer here in Goa, in Saligao (Santa Rosa Distillery), who claims his "export quality" hooch is free of any redolent touch. But I am not brave enough to try it! The California lychee-flavoured feni sounds interesting though - but what a marriage!
  20. Yea, Episure - I thought you might. And regarding feni... it has a strong bouquet of unwashed sweats and football dirty socks! My favourite thirst quencher here in Goa is a home made brew, served chilled, of lemongrass, mint and ginger. Great on a hot day!
  21. I should have added that I have often made it at home, just by the usual method of boiling cans of condensed milk. Up to now it's never turned grainy, and it becomes darker and fudgier the longer you boil it - anything between 2 and a half hours to 4 hours. Still, Parmalat brand rules!
  22. I haven't a clue as to why on earth Dulce de Leche should contain baking soda. All I know, having just spent six months in Buenos Aires, is that the local supermarkets' shelves there absolutely groan with a huge variety of brands of ready-made Dulce de Leche. My favorite, by far, is Parmalat. And home-made doesn't taste anything like it. But I still don't know if it contains baking soda.
  23. Albiston, I am sure you are right - I was simply picking up, and daring to agree, with Carlsbad personal experience of Enoteca pinchiorri. In the larger scheme of things, and distances being what they are, who on earth wants to submit to further unhappy dining exxperiences when there is so much choice out there? But, perhaps more seriously, mine was simply a cry from the heart - for what has happened to my beloved Florence, and Tuscany, and its food.
  24. There are always "new" beers surfacing in India, but it's a market much subject to the vagaries of strong competition - and the ensuing dirty tricks reminding me of the "Cola Wars". San Miguel beer (very good, from the Philippines) made a short appearance a few years ago, but the big guys made sure it went under - fast. Foster deteriotated tremendously in quality a couple of years ago, and no one would drink it anymore. Lately it's improved again, so it has a strong market. The best here in Goa is a locally made beer, Arlem. Between the ups and downs of the beer wars, people tend to return to the ubiquitous Kingfisher - always there, and always predictably mediocre. But it's like the old soft drinks of India: since nothing else was available, everyone was brought up from childhood drinking Gold Spot, Limca, Thumbs Up, etc. etc. Some people still love the stuff.
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