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Everything posted by johnder

  1. I luckily tend to get a lot of stuff along the way at various events and stuff, but I almost always go into a liquor store when I visiting some other town. I have come across some pretty amazing things, including Malacca gin and Beefeater crown jewel. However, when I do buy booze it is usually at Astor or Warehouse wine and spirits in the village.
  2. Hi Everyone, Sorry for the non existant posts from me today. It has been back to back meetings and last minute stuff to do before I head out to Vail tomorrow. I am going to be heading home soon and putting together things for tonights not so mystery basket cookoff. I also may attempt to make some sort of dessert tonight. Which is a rare thing. Mitch and Sam(?) -- look out!
  3. It depends. Most of the time I will buy Murray's chickens and more often than not they won't have any innards. Especially not a liver that looked as nice as the one I got in the bird last night. Mitch would know for sure since he cooks them more than me, but I am not sure if Empire birds still have them or not.
  4. I picked one up from Eataly yesterday. There was a huge basket. One was just about 2 bucks! :-(
  5. I agree kayb. It's all about the tradeoffs. Here we pay an exorbitant cost of living to have a place to lay our heads, but in return we have a city that never sleeps and you can find anything you could possibly want, anytime of the day. I am trying to play both sides of the field with my house upstate where I can jump into the lake and not have to worry about cell phones or other distractions. Of course, I need to put up with 3 hours of driving and traffic to do that, but it is a great way to escape and I feel lucky to have that. In terms of knowledge of liquor, you just happened to find 3 of the biggest lushes on eGullet. :biggrin:
  6. Onto a little nightcap for tonight. I am lucky enough to know Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and he was generous enough to part with some amazing demerara sugar from the island of Mauritius a while back. This sugar, as Splificator can attest to, is the most amazing demerara sugar you have tasted. It has this rich, haunting flavor and just the right amount of sweetness. It makes a perfect foil for an... Old Fashioned. I am sort of breaking out all the stops here. I am using both the orange and aromatic bitters from Hermes. For those that don't know Suntory Japan used to make and sell these bitters a few years ago. They were only distributed in Japan and if you asked them about it trying to obtain them, they denied ever making them. Unfortunately they aren't making them anymore and basically they are an extinct product which is a shame because the orange bitters are to this day the best orange bitters I have ever tasted. I have 2 full bottles left of each after these current ones run out and I am sad when the day comes that I wont have any more of them. I am also using one of my favorite bourbons, Four Roses. But not just any Four Roses. This was a barrel selected by master distiller Jim Rutledge and the owners of the Rickhouse bar in San Francisco. They basically had a private bottling of a Four Roses bourbon. My mother, who is an avid ebay follower managed to score these silver old fashioned muddling spoons as well. They have the muddler bottom and bakelite knob. They are one of my prized cocktail possessions. I am lucky to have a set of 5.
  7. Whew -- dinner done. While the bird and bones were cooking (hmm, that seems like a good name for a restaurant) I had one of these... (well I shared with 2 other people) It is a large format beet from my beloved Brooklyn Brewery. Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster created this one in the strong saison style format. It went down very easily... Next up, the bruschetta. Bones out of the oven, with the completed parsley salad. Duck fat potatoes out of the oven (it really wasn't that much duck fat, it just was an optical illusion.) The potatoes were hit with some maldon when they came out of the oven. After cooling the pan, the sucked up the remaining fat from the roasting pan. The finished chicken. The chicken overall was moist and very tasty. I liked they actually gave the innards in the bird. While I was cooking I sauteed the liver quickly in a pan with a pat of butter and salt. When it was almost done, I pulled it out and spread it over a piece of bread with a splash of lemon and pepper. It was a secret chefs treat.
  8. Wanted to display the bounty I picked up today from Eataly, and also my corner butcher. For some reason I was really in the mood for some Fergus Henderson's roasted marrow bones with parsley salad as an appetizer today. Some of the food is to tomorrows cook-off but the some is tonight. (for the chef, while cooking. A white Negroni to start) The menu tonight: Raw baby artichoke bruschetta with anchovies and parmigiano-reggiano. Roasted Marrow bones with parsley/caper salad. Roast Cobb-Cobb chicken with duck fat roasted potatoes. Some of the haul from Eataly. Apparently they are starting to sell these Cobb Cobb chickens from Lancaster, PA. I picked one up to check it out. Some duck fat as well. Chicken... Oh this? This is just some Mangalitsa lardo. Nothing to see here... keep moving. Marrow bones. I am doing them old school where you wrap the bottoms to make sure all the marrow stays inside. Parsley salad prep. As Fegus says -- "Lightly discipline" the parsley. Potatoes with a bit of duck fat. Chicken, with a bit of butter, salt and pepper. Prep for the bruschetta and some tomato bread to snack on.
  9. We kinda botched up the mystery basket idea a bit. We were like 3 baboons walking around eataly arguing about what we should put in the basket. I have all my stuff still here at work, but I thought we got one or two more ingredients. I should be home in an hour or so and will unpack and take some pics of my ingredients. I know for dinner tonight it will be some duck fat roasted potatoes (same as the ones Mitch bought) and a roasted chicken.
  10. The shortage is probably in part due to the horrible car accident Ralph Erenzo had back on Dec 21. For those that don't know who he is, Ralph is the owner of Tuthiltown along with his son Gable. Ralph was in a near-fatal car accident in upstate NY and is still in critical condition in Albany medical center. It is a horrible time the family is going through now and the bartending community has been sending thoughts and prayers to the family for the past month and hoping for Ralph's full recovery. That said, I know Gabe has been spending every last minute up in Albany so the production line is probably running a bit slow now understandably. For those who are interested, the family setup a status page here for updates on his condition. On happier news, yes. Yes that is a lot of stagg. 17 bottles to be precise. But who is counting. John
  11. I do have quite a selection of Tuttletown, and their Rye and Four Grain are very tasty. It is great to support a local distillery, but I wish it wasn't so darn expensive. I love mallomars, I try not to stock up on too many boxes because I will just go through them too quickly.
  12. FWIW, the Milka chocolate shown is not from the UK. It's from Germany/Austria. A lot of it in the US (at least in Chicago) is made in Poland. I also don't think Kinder Bueno is Mexican either - at least they sell it in a lot of European shops The Fairway in Stamford, CT did have an impressive Cadbury display at the cash register when I was there in December. They did have a whole section of Cadbury next to it, but the picture was too blurry to post. Worried about the fuzz coming down on me.
  13. I am like Mitch in that I do most of my shopping daily, but once a week I go to Fairway to stock up on dry goods and other things on sale. If you haven't been to a Fairway before, it is quite a trip. The one I go to is in an old warehouse building in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn. As wikipedia mentions: This market is 65,000 square feet. The trick to going to this market as FatGuy and Sam will attest to having to deal with the uptown one, is going on off hours. At all costs you want to avoid the weekends. I typically go on a Thursday or Friday night around 7. I apologize in advance for the quality of these photos. They have a pretty harsh view on people taking photos there so I was trying to take them from my iphone without looking too suspicious. Although at the end I noticed a security guard following me around. Fairway claims to be the largest seller of Prime meats in NYC. If this is true or not, I am not sure, but they have some fantastic prices usually on prime meats. During the summer you can pick up prime porterhouses for 7.99 a pound. One of the things I usually buy every week is some anchovies. They have a great selection They also have a pretty large Kosher selection servicing the large Jewish population of Brooklyn. They also have a selection of imported candies and sweets from the UK and Mexico. I usually also stock up on my nuts and dried fruits. I tend to take them into work to snack on in hopes of avoiding the dreaded candy vending machine. They also roast some of their own coffee in house. In the summer when I am making Toddy brewed Ice Coffee I will pick up a pound of two and use that. They also sell my favorite tortilla chips, which happen to be David Rosengarten's favorite too. Fairway also sources it own olive oils, which are not only typically priced very well, but are very tasty. One of the things I see often is Red Hook's Engine 279/Ladder 131 fire department pull up and do the shopping for their nightly meal. They disperse throughout the store and pick up the meal. Typically it involves a lot of pasta and chicken/beef from what I can tell. Here is one discussing olive oil with someone. Also, it is Mallomar season! If you don't know what a Mallomar is, you don't know what you are missing! This is about the time they were on top of me with taking all the pics, but I managed to get two more off. I purchase two types of butter here weekly. One for baking cooking. Which typically is the 1 lb blocks of Plurga although I have been playing with the Cabot 83 as well. But dollar for dollar Plurga is my fav. And one specifically for having with bread, which is the Lescure with Flue de sel.
  14. Yes, unfortunately a round of Dickel shots made an appearance after Mitch left. Somehow I still managed to cook dinner which is surprising. My plan today, after hopefully not having a massive coronary shoveling the snow off my sidewalk for the upteenth time this year is to head to work then meet Sam and Mitch at Eataly. Tonight is dinner at home, and tomorrow is the mystery basket cookoff. Friday night I am heading away for a last minute ski weekend to Vail until Tuesday, so the final few days of the blog for me will be reporting slopside from Vail, Co.
  15. Ok, after a drink (or two, or three) at Pegu with Sam and Mitch I find myself at home and a bit hungry. My de-facto, I can do it in my sleep meal, is make some pasta. Tonight, Aglio e Olio -- with a little bit of kick. I didn't have any spaghetti, but I had this nice dried caputini. When you are only dealing with 5 ingredients, you need to make each one count. Hard Neck garlic from the Union Square farmers market, Parmigiano-Reggiano, good olive oil (this one from Fairway market) and these crazy hot dried yellow paprika peppers I have. A little prep of of the ingredients. Garlic and a microplane of the cheese. The knife, if you noticed is one of my xmas presents to myself. I got it from Korin. It is Masonobu Petty knife. reground to be used in my left hand. While the pasta is cooking heat the oil. Add the garlic and crushed paprika (one will do, make sure you don't touch your face after crushing!) After the pasta is almost done, add to the hot oil with a bit of the pasta cooking liquid. Heat over high heat for a minute or two, so the pasta sucks up the oil and the starch-water. Finally, top with the cheese.
  16. "White Negroni" is always pretty awesome. Equal parts gin, lillet blanc and suze. I also really like it on the rocks with soda splash and a orange flag.
  17. So I opted for the "international" food today at the cafe. As you can see this was a mildly-busy day. Behind me is the hot line that you can get pizzas, burgers and such from. I got the rice, some of the pork and the chicken, along with the papaya slaw. They also had on the cold salad bar some potato and corn salad and grilled zucchini. Back at my desk. Total cost of this was about 6.25. Considering the amount of food it is a pretty good deal. (sorry about the quality of the pics, I forgot my camera back at the desk so these are with the iphone)
  18. haha, weinoo actually gave that to me. It is a toothpick holder. You put clean toothpicks it and people would grab one to eat olives or the like.
  19. No complaining. You have a "big" apartment by NYC standards . Yah, both of you shouldn't complain. I was in a kitchen a few years ago where you could either a) stand in the kitchen. b) open the 4 burner oven door or c) open the fridge. You could only do one at a time, so you needed to pick. When you actually opened the fridge you had to stand outside the kitchen to look into it. There was about strip of workspace that was about 4 inches wide and 24 inches deep.
  20. Lastly -- all the odds and ends. I try not to have anything I really don't use, but I am sure you will spot a few things that are a bit odd and could fall into that category. I try to organize them by type; all baking things in one area, bartools another but there are some items that are just hard to classify. For spices, I typically go to one of the indian spice shops on in the East Village and buy a scoop or two of spices when I run low. These are paint jars I pick up from the art supply store. The lids have a rubber seal on the top and keep the spices pretty fresh. That combined with them living in a dark drawer gives them a pretty good shelf life. They are organized alphabetically of course.
  21. Now onto the actual kitchen. It is still the same layout as the original blog showed. A few layout changes in the drawers and the addtion of the butcher block in the middle. A family friend was about to throw away this block when I happily took it off their hands. It is rock maple, end grain and weighs about 150 pounds. It is a beast. I love it. Required fridge shots .... One of the best things about this kitchen (aside from my beloved stove) is this Kraftmaid pantry unit. It just allows for so much storage, and at a glance allows you to find what you need. It also caught the attention of Otis who is always underfoot in the kitchen. I try to keep things hyper organized so I can quickly at a glance determine what I have and what I need to buy on my weekly shopping trips. The front storage units are arranged by baking (top left), Asian foods, honey/syrups, Mexican/hot sauce, tuna, pickles, etc. Then Salt and misc. Up above, it is dry goods, flours, chiles, chips. Right side is some bulk spices. In the back left, oils, pasta, tomatoes. Back right, more Asian ingredients, nuts, grains in hyper organized fashion. Vinegars, syrups. Now onto the drawers. One of the things I wanted when designing this kitchen was a lot of drawers for storage. I have almost 14 drawers, but would love even more. (continued...)
  22. So I am going to go on a bit of a photo journey now. Keeping with the cocktail theme, I will go through the liquor at home, then into the requisite kitchen/pantry/fridge shots. First, a small butler table in the dining room that contains some "more used" spirits, mixing glasses and a whole cupboard full of antique and new glassware. Next, the main liquor storage area. In the front room there are a series of bookcases that hold mostly cookbooks and booze. 70% of the booze is stored here, 20% in another cabinet and the remainder around the house or in the basement. I would imagine that if I had to count I probably have 120-150 bottles of booze not including wine scattered around the house. One of the things you find is working as a bartender and running the back of house at programs like Tales of the Cocktail you come across copious amount of sample and free booze. If it was easier to fly with liquids, I probably wouldn't have room for clothes in the house. The other cabinet is where I keep mostly brown rarer stuff. Including 3 years of Red Hook Rye and a vertical of George T Stagg for the last 5 years. Lastly, segway into the kitchen, one of my cabinets basically has a ton of bitters and syrups in it. Can you tell I like Del Maguey?
  23. So I work for a subsidiary of Hearst Magazines, and while I am not in the actual Hearst Tower, I am a block away and often go there for lunch. They have a pretty amazing cafeteria (as far as office cafeterias go) and it is subsidized by the company to a certain degree. Given a turkey sandwich runs you 7-8 bucks at the deli, spending 7 bucks for a thai fried fish sandwich isn't a bad idea. Also, this cafe is leaps and bound cleaner than most delis in the neighborhood. If this crazy snow lets up I will venture over there for lunch today. Typically they have a rotating "chef's station" where they feature different chefs. Also some of the magazine feature recipes they are going to be testing or running in a upcoming magazine. Also daily they have a rotating hot table featuring a different international food. For me this is the biggest hit or miss one. It is really hard to do authentic international food, much less for a building that has 1000 people in it. Here is this weeks menu:
  24. Well, John is special, after all. Check out the Cocktail Kingdom website. It's all available there. For sure about the starters. I'd call this more of a mother - lol. Given they have a small showroom up front, I think you can go in and browse the items for sale. All the bitters in that front area were open for people to taste. I will see if I can get donbert to chime in. I was always told I was special by my parents, although I think they meant it in a different way. :-)
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