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Peter Green

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Posts posted by Peter Green

  1. Let me back up a bit, as I've been a bit abrupt in introducing this.


    I'd skirted about North Korean cuisine for some time, and had been teased with hints of Pyongyang for decades.


    Some of you will remember how I picked up the trail in Shanghai, dueling in absinthia with the North Koreans for the honor of Canada's wormwood quaffing reputation.  http://forums.egullet.org/topic/100702-across-china-with-the-vermin/?p=1407233


    Then there were the two old grannies in Seoul with their amazingly good mandoo, loaded with suk (and a fine steamed chicken, too).


    But the topper was the Pyongyang Cold Noodle Restaurant in Beijing.  That was some of the finest Korean cuisine I've had.  Definitely the prettiest.  (A story in itself)


    So, when the 100th anniversary of the Eternal Leader, Kim Il Sung, came up on my automatic reminders, we just had to go.


    The year before we'd attended a talk by someone who'd been in the North, and then immediately raced back through China to the South so that he could talk with the guards he'd seen from the other side of the DMZ.  He'd used a group called Koryo Tours ( http://www.koryogroup.com/ ), and the more I read about them, the more apparent it was that I should make my arrangements through their offices.


    And I'm always happy for an excuse to eat in Beijing.

  2. I'd weigh in on the positively negative side.

    I was at the Corn Exchange a couple of years back, and had a very good meal, and an extremely positive chat with Anthony's dad. I'm sorry to see them go, as I was hoping to return to Leeds next year, and do more time in his restaurants.

    As with most biases, my dislike of heading to Leeds was poorly founded. It was a good trip.

    However, the business is the business (as his dad would say), and if you're not making money at it, then you have to question why you're there.

    Still, I liked his food.

    I'll be interested in hearing what they do next.

  3. Peter, are you arguing that in ScottyBoy's position you don't think he should be worried about how his coat looks?

    I believe that the gear is part of the job. If looking good is important, then it may be better to invest in something more superficial, at a lower cost. If your concern is over protection then you pay more for it, but you have to live with the idea that it's going to take some damage over time.

    Generally, given the above conditions, if appearance is important, than you're better off to buy cheap and disposable, and give yourself that "just pressed look". If you want the battle-hardened look, then you invest in something to keep ( but it may not be cost effective).

    I've found that, over time. it's better not to get attached to equipment. It's cheaper that way.

    Cheap is good.

  4. The skins should actually be soft, with no crispiness (sometimes the edges are a little crispy, but the skin is soft and pliable, not rubbery at all). So you have the soft roti with crispy sugar strands. In BKK, when you can find roti sai mai, the roti are usually not made fresh when you buy it, so they should be able to sit for a while without getting hard. They usually stack them as they make them, letting them steam together (keeping them soft).

    Not that I've ever made popiah skins, but I suspect your dough might be a little wet.

    The palm sugar cotton candy looks awesome! I think I need a cotton candy maker, too!

    BTW Peter--when I was looking back for the post with my cotton candy eating method, I noticed that it was I who introduced you to roti sai mai! You can tell Yoonhi she can thank me (or curse me) later! :laugh:

    She thanks, you, don't fear.

    BTW - I think the description of a "cotton candy taco" is an award winning menu item in the making!

  5. Here you go Peter - this one's for you. Thank you Rona for the link to the skins. No pandan available for colour sadly.


    One takes a handful of dough and does a little dance to try and keep it under control.


    Drop it into the pan.


    Splat it out a bit and try to pick up the thick bits - used a spatula to spread out any remaining thick bits.


    Cook until it no longer looks raw.


    Clean up the stove, the counters, the pans, the scraper...


    Take some palm sugar and grind to a powder in your coffee grinder.


    Here is what you get.


    Into the cotton candy maker.



    Roll up a little cotton candy taco.


    Feed little cotton candy taco to Anna.

    I can see that this would be much more yummy if you had the skins right off the griddle - still a bit crispy - wasn't a huge fan of the almost rubbery ones after sitting in plastic for a while.

    I've gotta buy a new cotton candy maker now!

  6. A cookbook with a recipe for roti sai mai would be very unusual!

    The roti is like popiah skins. You can use a recipe like this one http://www.houseofan...e-popiah-skins/ .

    The cotton candy is different from western-style cotton candy, but more like pashmak (which I think is the cotton candy tahini treat that you mentioned). I doubt it has tahini in it, though, but I think the sugar might be either raw sugar or caramelized. I suspect the making has some sugar pulling involved. That being said, cotton candy would make a fine substitute, especially if you use my patented cotton candy eating method which would give the cotton candy more of the texture pashmak has.

    This website has a video of a woman making the roti


    We just used a kid's cotton candy maker for the cotton candy. When Geoff Lindsay did the WGF a few years back, he actually went out to the lower part of Sukhumvit to the Arab quarter and found some "Persian Fairy Floss" http://egullet.org/p1283765 so Prasantrin's probably dead on with the pashmak.

    For roti, Yoonhi does a flour (about 2.5 to 3 cups), salt (a pinch), sugar (a bit), a couple of table spoons or so of water, and two of our eggs (they're small here). The main flavour element is in the ghee used for frying.


    P.S. - I've seen her do the compressed cotton candy thing. I wonder though, should that be patented, or copyrighted, or trademarked?

  7. Thanks very much for this, you two. I've enjoyed it a lot, and I've got more ideas to try here at home.

    But, with that cotton candy, could you try roti sai mai? We haven't had it for a couple of years, and a piece from you could help me convince Yoonhi that I need a cotton candy machine.

    And Serena will back me up (I pay her off big time).

    Peter - do you have any recipes in any books? I have no thai books here and that cotton candy looks a lot more like the cotton candy tahini treat than what we are making. Also recipe for that roti dough.

    Kerry, I'll go through my books and notes tomorrow and get back to you. It's bedtime over here, and I'm getting the evil eye!



  8. Having talked with a number of chefs in the last couple of weeks of binge eating, an interesting approach is the most capital intensive. But it can work out cheapest in the long run.

    If you can swing the finances, buy a restaurant property.

    This may seem insane, but it's often easier to secure a loan when there's some solid assets involved. Once you've identified the property, you can get more attention from investors, as they'll have some hard collateral to claim against. Then either populate as a purchase agreement to include the old gear, or hit up an auction house (restaurant gear is always going at auction).

    Once you're up and running in this fashion, your major overhead goes away. One of the banes of the restaurant business is that landlords can get very good at calculating how much of your income they can take, and still keep you hanging on. Sort of like a vampire keeping a body alive and hanging from a hook.

    Plus, if you can't make a go of it, restaurant props never go without tenants (at least not in venues with enough of a population density). End of the day you cut your losses, take a tenant, and have him make your payments.

    That's my two cents worth.

    P.S. - I like DanM's not on shopping at yard sales (and this goes for church sales, rummage sales, the Sally Ann, etc). Heck, look at Noma.

  9. One quick blurb:

    Although it may get a certain dismissal as part of the Hy's empire, Ki (Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary) had a great selection for Calgary, with 10 sakes by the glass (including Masa's from Granville Island Artisan Sake) and 26 in the bottle.

    Of greater importance to me, their manager, Adam has been on the sake certification course (level 1) that Gautner is running, and so had their maitre d', Apostol. Both were enthusiastic, and well able to hold up a strong discussion of the bottles they had on offer.

    I'll talk more about this in the Calgary threads somewhere, but it's worth noting that I took time away from packing and checking out to have another couple of sakes at their place by the Westin.

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