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CtznCane

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    far Western Kentucky
  1. CtznCane

    Water/rice ratios

    I cook rice all the time, typically jasmine rice. 1.5 to 1 for 15 minutes, comes out perfect every time. bring to a boil, stir once, covered on the lowest heat possible. I did it this way in California and now in Kentucky, a no brainer. It truly comes out perfect all the time. Occasionally I'll make basmati rice in a way I learned from a friend of mine from India. Basically cooking the rice in copious amounts of water and when it is done, draining it. If it needs a little less moisture then put it on the stove for a bit. This way too works out fine. I must admit that if trying different rices one has to play it by ear a bit but once you get it right it should be a cinch from there on out.
  2. This past Thursday we went to a winery dinner at the Carson Center in Paducah, Kentucky. Having previously lived in Santa Rosa, The Delta, and growing up in Berkeley I've been going to wineries since the early 70's and sampling back as early as 1970. Since moving to Kentucky at the end of '08 we haven't had that pleasure so when an opportunity arose (partially sponsored by a very good liquor store/wine store, Wagner's in Paducah) we jumped at the opportunity to go. Bottom line was it was awesome, the setting, the food, the wines, and of course the people. The best time we've had since moving to Kentucky. But this is about the wines. Even being familiar with many wineries and the Napa Valley there are just far too many to be aware of and have much to go on. Such is David Arthur Vineyards. I knew right where it was located as I use to have frineds in Angwin nearby and had made parachute jumps at Pope Valley back in the day. Still I was not familiar with this vineyard nor their wines. Their wines were wonderful. At the dinner we had their 2010 Chardonnay, 2009 Mertaggio, 2009 Three Acre Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2009 Elevation 1147 Cabernet. With desert was a 2011 Late Harvest Reisling. The reds were all exceptional. I must admit being partial to the Three Acre Cab as it has a touch of Petite Verdot which always appeals to me. As much as I liked the Three Acre, the 1147 was a solid notch above, though so was the price and the Three Acre is not inexpensive. The whites were also very strong in terms of quality though Reds always capture me a bit more. The winemaker and owner, David Long was also quite a character and I mean that in the best of ways. When the winemaker is so enjoyable to be around and so into what he is doing, that always shows through and does so in his wines. Tastings and tours at David Arthur Vineyards are by appointment but based on the experience of drinking his wines and his personality it has to be well worth it. When I get back to California (soon I hope) this vineyard is at the top of my list of places to visit. If interested their website is www.davidarthur.com
  3. CtznCane

    Recommendations for (US) Zin required

    It is hard to go wrong with a Ridge Zinfandel. They've been at the top for many years. Others such as Rosenblum and Cline mentioned here have also been favorites over time. One not mentioned yet which I particularly like is Zin Alley which is located very close to Turley down in the Paso Robles area.
  4. CtznCane

    Where to eat in Nashville?

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned Loveless Cafe. While having the best fried chicken anywhere and being known for their biscuits and jams, there isn't anything that isn't good there. When you have a place (on the outskirts of town) that consistently packs them in and has for over 50 years, that's gotta say something.
  5. CtznCane

    The Frozen-Fish Topic

    TJ's is a great place to get quality food period, and the fish is no exception. Like people have been saying most all the fish we get is or has previously been frozen. Frozen is not the key but how it is frozen. While I've never been fishing myself (though I plan to still) my uncle use put his fish in milk cartons, then fill them with water, and then freeze them. That really seems an ideal way since you wind up with no freezer burn and being in water is natural to them. I'm always aware when buying scallops to avoid any that have tripolysulphates. I haven't paid attention to that on other types of fish but will certainly start doing so.
  6. CtznCane

    Different cuts of Pork to choose

    We are looking at buying a whole hog. I know with buying a side of beef there are multiple choices ie: steaks vs roasts, etc.... If you buy a whole hog are there many options? What are the options? Also I don't want to be wasteful so will probably need to be on guard to tell them not to waste anything. Ideas?
  7. I have a couple of questions which may or may not have been addressed at some point, I just haven't found them. I'm getting a SVS soon and I regularly brine my pork and chicken. Are there any precautions with brined meat? Does it change the cooking times? Is the flavor from brining magnified through cooking sous vide? Also, I have a foodsaver vacuum presently. Will this suffice for all my needs? - THanks
  8. CtznCane

    Makers 46

    Recently I got a couple bottles of Maker's 46 the new bourbon from Makers Mark. Slightly higher proof, 47 vs 45, a bit darker color and a bit richer but you don't taste the higher alcohol. A little more bold but quite smoothe. I enjoy Makers Mark to begin with but I enjoy the 46 even more.
  9. CtznCane

    A thanks to Martin Yan

    Martin Yan is amazing. I think he doesn't get the credit he should sometimes because he IS so good that he makes it look SO easy. He makes all of his dishes approachable for everyday cooks. I saw him at the asparagus festival in Stockton a few years back and live he is just as amazing, never missing a beat. The only bad thing about Martin Yan is after watching him one feels woefully inadequate in terms of knife skills.
  10. CtznCane

    Swiss Diamond Cookware ?

    I am bringing this topic back up because I"m looking at getting and additional swiss diamond pan. I currently have an 11" swiss nano pro pan and wonder if I can now get that in the states? I've had mine now for almost 6 years, use it all the time and have had nothing but great results. Swiss_Chef helped me get mine directly from Europe. Is the Nano Pro available here now? Is it still available in Europe? I have since gotten a second non-stick pan, a calphalon at about 40-50 with lid from Williams Sonoma about 3 years back. It's fine for eggs and such but nowhere near as verstaile as the SNP pan. As for cost, I think it has been well worth it or I wouldn't be looking at getting another. It's performance is just so good that it is truly worth the price.
  11. CtznCane

    Top Chef : Season 8 - All Stars

    Yes, glad to see Jamie go. I too am surprised by Richard's underachievement so far. It seems with Richard, that he can't resist going over the top or doing some other twist. He is the one overcomplicating the dishes. Were we perhaps enthralled on his first go round with his style? Has Richard's act leveled out? I hope not, I still like him but I think he is just trying to do too much and shooting himself in the foot. Contrast Carla to Richard. Carla has been, as she was her first season, coming through with good flavors and clever, but understated variations. Carla's twists seem to be more subtle, not as fancy, but quite effective, a simple approach as opposed to the dazzle of Richard. My secret hope for this season though is that Dale T will have an off night, have his temper show, and that the guest judge that night will be Michael Chiarello. Now THAT would be priceless.
  12. CtznCane

    Top Chef : Season 8 - All Stars

    You have to wonder what Casey was thinking going with chicken feet. Going that far out at this stage makes no sense and then knowing someone else would be cooking it seems like a sure recipe for failure. Jamie's dishes once again were bad and once again she had lame excuses as to why. The day can't be too far off when the rest of the contestants avoid catastrophe and we wave bye bye to Jamie. I found it rather nice seeing the chaos. All of us at home have had our chaotic moments so to see that large and well trained a crew have the kitchen from hell was kind of comforting in a perverse way. As to the quickfire, who cares if TC had his dish planned and his ingredients ready. It was a chance to see TC in action and it was a good and equitable challenge for all.
  13. CtznCane

    A good ham is hard to find

    Most aren't that high, though I will say their Derby ham is really good. As far as an everyday ham, years ago my cousin recommended Hormel Cure 81 as he had worked there. I've used that for my everyday ham for years and it is real good. Another place for country ham which is outstanding is Scotts Hams in Greenville, Ky. They also have good sausage (with sage) that we like. We may not be able to get great seafood like we could when we lived in the bay area but when it comes to pork products (with the exception of pancetta) we're in hog heaven in Kentucky.
  14. CtznCane

    A good ham is hard to find

    We went from living in the SF Bay Area to Western Ky where we have a fine ham place 5 minutes away! I've had Burger's city ham and it is good. Harper's (the one down the road from us) offers a nice smoked city ham www.hamtastic.com and another good one that is a mild, somewhat cross between city and country ham is the Derby ham from Meachams www.meachamhams.com .
  15. CtznCane

    Deep Fryers for the Home Kitchen

    That's the one. I came across it purely by chance but again, so far I've been pleasantly surprised and quite satisfied to say the least. I was getting a new Cuisinart coffee maker and found it on sale. Almost wish I'd picked up a seoond one.
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