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Everything posted by johnder

  1. Also, as a reminder. If there are any specific proteins you are wanting to see incorporated possibly into the battle mystery box Thursday, start getting your votes in now!
  2. Lastly, here are are some random items that are in prototype mode. There are two Blue Blazer mugs, the one on the left is the one going to production and should be available soon. There is also a new julep strainer, which is based on one of the antique models shown above. It is about double the weight of a standard one you can get now, and much more teardrop shaped. Also, behold the new "pimp my bartool" gold line for the high end bartenders in the group.
  3. So one of the more amazing things is inside Gregs actual office are just random, amazing things lying around just about everywhere. Here Greg and Don are looking for some obscure item to show off to us: Maybe some crazy antique hawthorn strainers? One of which there are only possibly 3 known to exist? Crazy antique Parisian and cobbler shakers? How about a few antique dasher bottles? Or a antique wood juicer? Also around are some rare liquors, two of which I have never seen before: Whiskey distilled in Mexico!? Medicinal Whiskey instead? Lastly, Don and Greg were kind enough to give a few sneak peaks to things that just became available: Their new wormwood bitters, and a reproduction Flowing Bowl - What and When to drink.
  4. I ended up meeting Mitch at Greg Boehm's Cocktail Kingdom where donbert is also working now. This was a total geek out for both of us. For those unitiated, this is the defacto place to get your quality barware, as well as amazing reproductions of antique cocktail books. They are going to be moving in a few months, but in the interim they have a very small showroom in the foyer displaying their wares: Bittters selection Dasher bottles and ice tools Misc books and Moscow mule mugs. Strainers, spoons, mixing glasses Moving away from the foyer there is the stock area -- bitters anyone? (splitting this into two posts because of all the images)
  5. So as you know, I didn't have a chance to grab breakfast and unfortunately I was stuck in meetings most of the day and ended up having to grab a quick sandwich on the way to meet Mitch at cocktail kingdom. Luckily Eisenbergs is right down the block. I grabbed a quick Pastrami to go. By default if you order a Pastrami sandwich in NY you will get it on rye, with spicy brown mustard and a dill pickle wrapped in waxed deli paper. This is about as old school as you can get here in NYC for sandwiches. Old deli counter, surly waitstaff. Unfortunately, I had to eat this back the the CK office so it was a real scarf moment. Overall it was a decent sandwich. It was a bit dry, which could be attested to how late in the day it was ordered. But also I don't think they keep their pastrami on a steam table like Carnegie or Katz's
  6. So Mitch ended up filling the extra seat at the bee tasting after I convinced him to join after our afternoon visit to cocktail kingdom. We will have lots of photos and info after we are done in a few hours.
  7. One of the daily annoyances I deal with here at work is the coffee situation. This is the monstrosity I need to put up with. While It is leaps and bounds over the k-cup machine we used to have. These Flavia (now Alterra) packets are still pretty absymal. It is like filtering tepid water through a bag of coffee scented sawdust. For a while I used to bring in my all-in-one french press travel mug, but something happened to the hot water dispenser in that it decided at some point along the way that hot water meant dispensing 170 degree water. It used to spit out 210 degree water which made a pretty good cup. I would bring in some ground coffee from home in pre-measured packs and dump them into the french press and life would be good. Now I have that joy removed from my daily worklife. Can you tell I am a bit annoyed? I need coffee. :-(
  8. Given I don't have any breakfast shots, I figured I would talk a little about the upstate place. It is located in the southern most part of the Adirondack Parkm which is a 6+ million acre state park. The land the house is built on is technically part of the APA and in the state park which makes the building regulations and restrictions very tough. There is no new building alllowed in the area, and only existing buildings can be replaced/repaired. As I mentioned, we can only reach the house via boat. We park the car over at a shared boathouse along with 16 other property owners and use one of our two boats. One is the work barge, the other a small jon-boat. In the winter the house is accessible via snowmobile or cross country skiing. It is only about a .33 mile trip door to door. We are in the process now of finalizing the kitchen cabinets and flooring selection, but work has pretty much stopped for the winter. I am pretty determine to have a gas stove at the house since I really despise electric stoves, so last summers project was running all the necessary propane lines for the heat and stove. The Adirondacks has a long history of the weekend escape place for the rich and famous of NY back in the golden days. President Coolidge spent two months vacation there back in 1926. A odd quirk about the Adirondacks is that everyone calls their house a camp. It can be the dingiest shack or the grandiose houses, but everyone has a "camp". Cooking while up there is pretty much at this point restricted to the weber grill, or my offset smoker. Given all the work that happens during the day, it is great to stick some ribs or a pork shoulder on the smoker and not have to fuss with it. Of course the requisite side up there are salt potatoes. Here are a couple of shots as you approach from the lake. View from the upstairs overlooking the great room: And finally the view from the great room out to the lake:
  9. Wow, it is cold here in NYC. Not as cold as it is at the house upstate, which, looking at the weather last night it was -15 with wind chill down to -29. Youch. Anyway, as I mentioned I am not much of a morning person. I work in midtown, directly across from the David Letterman theatre. My commute in the morning is about a 25 minute subway ride, which is somewhere between crowded and packed. To fortify myself for the ride I walk a block or two out of the way at home to stop by a local cafe called Roots. Given this is Park Slope they are somewhat crunchy as you can tell by the menu. Jamey, the owner is from Alabama so there are a few touches of home there for him. Like the side of grits you get with your breakfast sandwich. For me, it is just a quick latte, one sugar. They pull Stumptown hairbender shots and it is just enough caffeine to make me survive the train. Depending on how my day is looking, I may grab a buttered kaiser roll from the coffee cart on the corner of my building, but today the line was too long and it was too cold outside to stand in line.
  10. The first time I have seen a flamed orange twist is from the master Dale Degroff. He starting doing these when working at the Rainbow room here in NYC and when someone ordered a cosmo back then, they would get a little bar showmanship like the great days of Jerry Thomas. I think there is little risk of starting any fires by doing this, as the oils exuded even from the freshest orange will quickly evaporate and the flames will disperse almost immediately. I have flamed hundreds of oranges over varying proofs of alcohol (up to 135.5 proof Red Hook Rye) without any incidents. Although I wouldn't recommend it, people have been know to take a flamed twist or two on the hand behind the bar by accident as well. In terms of flavor, it really does change the dynamic of a drink and while it works well in some drinks, I personally don't think it works well in others. For instance, I really don't like it in a negroni. As Mitch mentioned, it works really well in the cornwall negroni though. I really like it in Phil Ward's Oaxaca OF though. The trick to flaming a twist is to make sure you hold it far enough away from the flame, you don't want to carbonize or blacken the peel before you squeeze it. Otherwise you will pick up almost a burnt plastic taste. Also, gently move the peel back and forth over the flame to warm the entire peel before finally moving it close and squeezing quickly to exude the oils. Give it a shot!
  11. I think I saw some at Eataly last week. However, i try to block out the citrus there since it is obscenely overpriced. Buddha's Hand (very small) were 9 bucks a pop.
  12. Well hopefully soon everyone will be able to enjoy them. Will report more on that tomorrow. In the interim, the best sub is some fee's barrel aged bitters. If you really want to get close, that with a drop or two of clove tincture will be perfect. However, this drink works really well with plain old ango as well.
  13. So one of the things I was going to do this week was to go through and give the spec on some of the recipes that we had on the menu at PDT over the years since opening. Given how stressful this game is, I figured I would start with a nice strong one. This is from Daniel Eun who worked with us at the start: Harvest Moon 1 1/2 oz wild turkey rye 1 oz lillet blanc .5 oz bonded applejac .25 oz green chartreuse 3 dash abbotts bitter Stir and Strain A/P Coupe Orange twist Daniel Eun PDT Winter Menu 2007
  14. You are a lot healhier than me today. Given the Jets performance so far, I think I may need another drink. I think Sam is plotting something awesome to upstage us all.
  15. Here are the wings. These were baked, then the whole lot dumped into a bowl that contained the butter, franks and pickled red peppers. Including all the fat that rendered out from the wings at the end. Steven, I will give the rack a shot next time. I like the way the wings brown and crisp on the when the touch the bottom of the sheet pan. Will be interested to see how they turn out on the rack.
  16. So, first set of photos. Starting with a bunch of snacks while the wings cook. First, I am somewhat addicted to thix Pnxtos you can get at Fairway market here in Park Slope. (There is also one up by Sam on the upper west side). I am sure I can roll them myself, but these do save a lot of time. They are damn tasty too. Also a pickled veg plate. This has the pickled mushrooms and pickled spiced artichoke hearts from Fairway, as well as some giardiniere from Doc Pickle at the local farmers market. What's snacking without some pork? Some sliced meats from Eataly. For the wings, I am too lazy tonight to break out the fryer, so I am going the oven method. I joint the wings (saving the wing tips for stock) and dust them in rice flour and salt. Put them on a foil lined half-sheet pan sprayed with crisco and bake on convection at 400 until brown. Flipping once or twice. These are in the oven now. The sauce is your basic buffalo wing sauce. Butter (in lieu of traditional margarine), Franks, a dash of cayenne and my own twist, a handful of these pickled thai chillies. The wings are still in the oven, but will post a pic when they come out. While they are cooking, I had a nice cocktail. I blurred out parts of the bottle to protect the innocent. For me, there are two drinks that you need to shake so hard that you feel your arm is going to fall off. A Ramos and a Daiquiri. I love the shards of ice in this drink and it really helps with dilution since this is barrel proof.
  17. I am processing a bunch of photos now so stay tuned. There are a few people over watching the game and I have a bunch of snacks that are just going out. Once I finish uploading the photos I will give a photo tour.
  18. I usually just make a batch that fits in that small mason jar. It gets put in the fridge. A batch like that lasts maybe a month or two. This batch was made right before xmas.
  19. Hi Pilori, I usually make 2-3 batches of hot sauce at the end of the summer when the Union Square greenmaket vendors start selling their peppers. The batch I used for the one on the sandwich contained: Long Cayenne Serrano Anaheim Paprika Chilies Red Jalapeno My basic method of doing it is I seed them, roughly chop them and then generously salt them. Maybe 1T of salt per 2 cups of chopped loosely packed chilies. After about an hour I dump the mix into a saucepan with some sugar and white wine vinegar. Usually 1 part Sugar to 1.5 parts vinegar. Although depending on the heat of the chilies I adjust that as it goes. I bring it up to a boil then reduce it to a covered simmer for about 30 minutes. This tends to gas up the house, so make sure you have good ventilation. I turn the heat off and let it cool down on the stove covered until it is cool. Throw the whole mixture into a vitamix and adjust seasoning. For this style I am looking for one that has a forward sour/sweet taste with a lingering heat and pepper taste on the finish. As you can tell it is a somewhat thick sauce.
  20. I suppose we could add Mayhuel to the list, it would definitely stir things up in regards to the old fashioned category as you will probably end up with an Agave based cocktail. I guess in terms of the cocktails they could be ordered in the form of: Your house negroni on the rocks. Your house old-fashioned. If they still ask for a preference we can state that its dealers choice. However, I assume most places now have their house spec sheet. For PDT when someone orders a negroni they are asked two questions: Do you want it equal parts, and do you want it up or on the rocks. If they don't care they get: Equal parts Beefeater, M&R sweet & Campari. Rocks and Orange twist (not flamed) For the OF: Demerara sugar cube, 3 dash ango. Muddle. 2 oz Rittenhouse BIB. Stirred, strained over block ice cube. Lemon twist.
  21. Ok, rounding out the breakfast for the day. The finished soda bread: And, I am sure this will stir the pot. Some breakfast egg and cheese sandwiches. For me, the ideal one is 2 eggs, a slice of cheese and ham on a buttered roll with hot sauce, unfortunately I have no ham in the house today. There are few things I actually use kraft singles on, actually 2 things. Cheeseburgers and egg sandwiches. This is a new york style kaiser roll, two Tello green farms eggs, house made hot sauce, Lescure butter, kraft american singles. The trick, as a few people have pointed out is the wrapping of the sandwich in wax paper or, as I prefer foil. You need to let it steam and soften the roll in order for it to meet the optimal egg sandwich texture.
  22. So one thing you will soon find out is we all have Rancillio Silvia's/Rocky combos, complete with PID. This of course leads to constant debate among us over who can pull the best shot and steam perfect micro-foam milk. Given I mainly only use my Silvia on the weekends, I will take 3rd in this part and let Mitch and Sam duke it out. However, I still think I pull a mean shot. I used to roast my own beans, but once my iRoast blew out, I never bothered to get it replaced. Plus, even with my massive range hood the house still stunk like hay for a few days after. I am buying my beans mostly from Intelligentsia but also buy a lot from Stumptown. I am making my way through the last of my Intelligentsia Honey Badger Espresso blend. Here is the Silvia corner.. And a shot being pulled. Intelligentsia specs call for 19.5 grams of coffee, 201 degrees, 26 seconds, 1.8 oz. I have been trying to figure out what I need to set my boiler temp for via the PID to get the perfect 201 brewhead temp. From what I remember, the sensors for the PID actually are displaying boiler temp, not the actual water grouphead temp. So I am pulling them with the boiler set to 221. I typically have a latte to start on the weekends, then switching over to a drip using Hario V60 setup. It may actually be wise to get the drip coffee out of the way first so I can concentrate more on my shot pulling. Maybe I will try that next time. Also, for those of you that take a lot of photos, I highly recommend a WhiBal card. This "grey" card is used to register the white balance in your shots. If you use adobe photoshop, when you open up the photos in Bridge, you can use the white balance dropper and select the grey area on the card and it will level all the photos. It makes adjusting for different lighting very easy.
  23. For those of you that have seen Sam cook, the state of the kitchen afterwards is, how shall I put this kindly... uh, a bit unkept.
  24. Ok, my turn. First off, I am not really a morning person, so keep that in mind during the week. Taking one for the collective eGullet team I am up and already baking (another thing that I do every now and then, but as you will see I am not really a baker). I will go through the teaser pics and then give you a little outline of the schedule for the week. First photo: As Sam and Mitch mentioned we have been doing these impromptu dinner clubs over the years in a never ending battle of one-upmanship. (Sam had one night he was hosting was in last years Savuer 100). Given these dinners are 6-9 people and range 6 to 8 courses a lot of prep and mise is needed. For this dinner among the courses were A pork tongue amuse, pork foot croquette, crudo, pasta... If anyone is interested I can post some of the pics from the party. I was particularly ambitious with the photos that time. As some of you may know, I was the opening bar manager (along with donbert) at PDT here in NYC. One of the perks of this is I got to go on some amazing excusrions, one of which was a Plymouth bus trip to Jerry Thomas' grave in Woodside. In addition to keeping us quite lubricated on the trip they passed around some amazing original barware and bottles includong this very old Plymouth bottle. (Oh how I miss the old bottles) I am quasi retired now, but still keep active helping out every now and then when needed by Jim. Don't fret, I may try to make a guest appearance at one point this week. (If nothing else to make my own drink) Lastly, I threw this one in to try and throw people off the scent. I live in Brooklyn, in an area that is considered by realtors to be Park Slope, but in reality it is South Slope. For realtors most of Brooklyn is actually considered Park Slope. I am still at the same house that was documented in my first foodblog. The kitchen is the same, a few improvements here and there as you will see but overall its my favorite room in the house. However, we also have a house in upstate NY. It is in a little town called Canada Lake. We purchased a house quite a few years ago with the intention of ripping it down and building a new one. This process started about a year and a half ago and it is about 75% complete. This is the view from the front of the house. The great thing about the house is there is no road access and you need to get there by boat. The bad news is there is no road access and you need to get there by boat. If you have ever built or renovated a house, imagine trying to do it with no roads. It is a challenge to say the least. I have a stripped down pontoon boat that is used to schlep materials back and forth. Here is a pic on the way back with some wiring supplies. The view makes it worth it! So, where do that leave us for this week? We have a few joint things planned, and a few surprises, but here is a glimpse. Sunday -- We are going to be watching the Jets win and doing our own thangs... Monday -- I am going to visit Donbert at Cocktail Kingdom to taste the latest batch of my Abbott's bitters and see what else is going on at the cocktail temple. Also I am going to be going to one of my favorite local places here in Park Slope Beer Table. Tomorrow they are hosting a Bayerischer Bahnhof tasting where they will be pouring some Bahnhof Berliner Weisse and Leipziger Gose as well as a few surprise kegs they brought over from Germany. Tuesday -- Cocktail night out. To mix things up we were thinking it would be interesting to do a little comparison of cocktails among our favorite bars here in NYC. The plan as we were thinking was for us to meet at a bar of our choosing and order 2 cocktails. We would order the "house" version of these cocktails. I think it would be interesting to see how these cocktails differ from bar to bar, especially a lot of the bartenders in NYC originated at the same place at one point or another. (Pegu Club). We were going to order a Negroni rocks as the first, but looking for suggestions on the second from everyone. After the 2 drinks, we were all going to meet at Pegu Club for our final drink. Wednesday -- We figured since Sam likes competition we would do a little Mystery Basket Round II. Sam, Mitch and I are going to meet at Eataly and the Union Square Greenmarket Wednesday afternoon with $25 bucks in our pocket. We are going to argue and fight about what ingredients we are going to buy, but the premise is we will all purchase the exact same ingredients to make a meal with. This mystery basked will contain enough to make dinner for 2-3 and our initial shopping will include everything but the protein. We are allowed to use anything we have in our pantry to supplement the ingredients we buy, but the caveat is everything needs to be used at some point. (not in the same course, but as part of the meal). Where you, the eGulleters come in is you need to decide which protein we will cook with. Keep in mind that we are in NYC so most things are available, but be kind on us. I am not really in the mood for Geoducks this week. Thursday -- We cook the mystery basket Meal and a cocktail pairing at home. The rest of the days we are keeping in our pocket for now. Should be a fun week! ETA: Fixed lack of caffeine induced typos.
  25. Bourbon versus rye as well.
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