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Everything posted by francois

  1. I will be spending a few days in Woodstock, Vermont, at the end of the months. Haven't been there in about 4 years. Where should I go for fine food?
  2. we will be going to Woodstock Vermont for a weekend in late october. I heard that the Jackson House restaurant has closed. Hopefully this is not true, as we had a few really excellent meals there a few years back and were hoping to go back again this year. Please tell me it is open and still a good as ever.
  3. Take a look at the rubber band, inside, where you put in the bag to get the air sucked out. It should be smooth. Otherwise, it will not be air tight and air will come in. If there is a dent (it happened to mine), just pull it out and turn it around on the other side and put it back in. It will work fine.
  4. For a special dinner: Baccara (maybe also Beckta) For a more casual dinner: Les Fougères (nice setting, relaxed athmosphere), or maybe Domus. Les Fougères also have a nice brunch on Sunday's (try their duck confit). For a light lunch: Nicastro's Bottega - on the Market (a few tables, good food but a bit noisy; great sandwiches for take out; take a look at their selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars - some really good deals. Or Lapointe's - also on the market- (nice fresh fish) Chaloin: for memorable chocolates
  5. My daughter would like to go spend her 18th birthday in Montreal with a couple of her girlfriends next weekend. I'm not too sure I like the idea but...what the heck! Any suggestions about where she should go for dinner and, mostly, nightlife?
  6. Without a doubt: Bread, by J Hamelman (from King Arthur). It tells you the how and the why of things.
  7. francois

    Bear meat?

    A friend (hunter) offered me some bear meat. Any suggestion on what I should do with it? I was thinking about a braise as I imagine it might be a bit tough.
  8. Thinking about going to Toque! next week. When I was last there, a couple of years ago, it was absolutely wonderful! Probably the best meal I ever had. Anyone been there recently? Is it still as great?
  9. We spent a wonderfull week on PEI. Lovely and very confortable cottage at Kindred Spirits in Cavendish. Did we find the best food? Maybe... The makerel was outstanding, cought a few hours before on a deep sea fishing trip. Prepared simply (grilled, with a tartar sauce). The weather was nice, so we did not travel much. Went to 2 different fish markets: Doiron in North Rustico and Carr's a few kilometers down the road. The selection was larger at Doiron's but they were not very pleasant...they seemed eager to get to the next costumer. They did not seem to want to talk about their products and did not seem knowledgeable (not sure if their smoked salmon was hot or cold smoked---it was cold smoked and delicious!). The crab was perfect, in a salad with mayo. So was the lobster (again cold, with mayo) At Carr's, the selection of oysters was larger. A couple of hours from the water, you cannot get any fresher (unless you eat them undewater!). Again, really excellent (with a mignonette, my favorite way to eat them---and a glass of Puilly fumée). The clams and the scallops were also absolutely great. No one seemed to know were to find scallops in the shell, nor did they think oysters from different parts of the island could taste any different. It was strawberry season, and again, they were really nice and tasty (by themselfe and in a simple tart, with creme patissiere). They could be found almost everywhere, in small grocery stores or in stands on the side of the road. In these stands there were also fresh local vegetables, baby carrots, green peas, beets, etc. Again, very, very good. Great products, simply prepared, with good wine and in good company= heaven! There is a cheese made on the island (Lady gouda), not bad... One thing we did not find was good bread. Maybe next time... Françcois
  10. I'll be spending some time on PEI later this month. We have a fully equiped cottage near Cavendish (at Kindred Spirits - really nice!). What I would like is to get really good local produces, seafood of course, but also whatever else is available and cook them myself. The island is not that big, so it does not matter even if I have to travel a bit. Where to go for the bestseafood? Local vegetables? Cheeses? Can I get fresh scallops in the shell? Live crabs? Oysters directly from the producer? François
  11. For baking classes, there is also King Arthur flour in Vermont. I would suggest you try the excellent classes by our own James MacGuire (from Montreal). It is a bit expensive, but well worth it. I have been there a few times and stayed in the nearby town a Woodstock...Lovely place!
  12. It is called a Bradley Smoker. Made in BC I believe. Not expensive. Sold at Canadian Tire. Very easy to use. At first I was worried it would smoke up the neibourhood but it is really not the case. It is rather small but certainly big enough for domestic use. It uses 'pucks' of compressed wood, also being sold at Canadian Tire. I also use it for cold smoking (eg smoked salmon) but it is a bit more tricky, although not difficult. To keep it cold enough, I buy a couple of aluminum pans (the cheap one you throw away after using, it is sold in any grocery store). I fill it with water and freeze it. I then put it in the smoker on the racks under the salmon. Alex, in Canada, it is not required to color the salt pink as in the US. Stuffers.com sells it under the name of Prague powder #1. I believe they are a company from western Canada.
  13. I was never able to find a local source for pink salt (however I live in Gatineau not Montreal). I purchased some online from Butcher and Packer (www.butcher-packer.com). It is not expensive, about $2.00 for a pound, which is enough to last you for quite a while. Charcuterie is really an excellent book. I got a small smoker (recommended in his book), canadian made, at Canadian Tire, on sale at an affordable price last year. Made the best ham I ever ate!
  14. What about le mas des oliviers, on Bishop street? It is very nice. Warm and generous atmosphere. Traditional french cooking. Can't go wrong. If you want something that is not on the menu, just ask, it is that kind of place...
  15. Try contacting the company. These things are supposed to last forever, or at least their warranty is good for a long long time. It might be worth a try...
  16. Daniel Vezina from the Laurie Raphael in Quebec city has a few excellent cookbooks. Quite similar to the kind of cuisine Normand Laprise does at the Toque! He focuses on local ingredients and producers. As far as I know, they are the best recent canadian cookbooks.
  17. Not as far as I know, but I would suggest that you do give them a call. They are very pleasant people. A few years ago, I used to go directly to the farm, but their chickens are now available in a few supermarkets near where I live. Montreal is not that far away. Maybe you could have a talk with the butcher where you usually go...
  18. In my opinion, the best tasting chicken available is from a local producer in the outaouais region, from the Ferme aux Saveurs des monts. They might have escaped Lesley's tasting. They are a bit more expensive but not overly so. Their website: www.saveursdesmonts.ca
  19. Thinking of trying it this weekend. Anyone been there recently? How is it?
  20. My favorite is 'The Japanese Kitchen' by Hiroko Shimbo
  21. Simple... In the last couple of years, I got a few Japanese cookbooks and have started cooking from them. It is a change from what I usually do (mostly French). The ingredients, the tastes, the techniques are different. I like the results of what I do at home but I need to see and taste the real thing (to know what it is suppose to be like). Since Toronto is a large city, I figured the odds where there would be a few good restaurants. I went to Ema tei. It was pretty much what I was looking for - dishes that I can find in my books - for comparaison. I liked it quite a bit. I also confirmed that my home cooking is pretty much what it should be!
  22. Thank you so much for your suggestions. Karaage, isn't that deep fried? Funny, I would not have thought of trying that, not too sure why... May be because fried chicken is so often associated with american fast food (as mentioned above I do not know much about Japanese foods). Between that and the Udon, which one do you prefer? I believe the Udon would be with fish cakes, right? Also, what should I drink with that? (I am more familiar with french wine, which is what at home I usually drink with everything, including Japanese food...)
  23. I don't care much about sushi. I must admit that I do not know much about Japanese food. I own a few books (including The Japanese Kitchen and Washoku) and cook from them more and more often. I only went to Japanese restaurants a few times and they were not nearly as good as what I do at home. The only truly good restaurant I went to was Soto in Montreal a few years ago. From what I have read so far I am tempted to go to Ematei
  24. I will be in Toronto next week for a few days. I already have reservations made at Scaramouche and Splendido. I would like to top it off with a good Japanese restaurant. Where should I go? Near down town?
  25. It never hurts to ask the vendor you purchased the item through. They have more incentive to keep you as a customer and a lot more leverage with the manufacturer. SB (it don't hurt to ask) ← I did! I went to the store where I bought it (in Ottawa). They listened to my story, called the KA rep. I now have a new mixer!! They did not even ask for a proof of purchase. Wow! Thanks
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