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  1. All excellent suggestions, thanks! Feel free to keep them coming as I check out reviews.
  2. I'm looking for a gift for a friend and am trying to find a book with just, or primarily, great pasta sauces. I'm not particularly looking for a general Italian cookbook, though if the best variety and quality is in a more general book, then that's what I'll get. A general search on amazon brings up a a ton of results, but I don't recognize the authors and would like to get something especially good. Any ideas?
  3. I was right; the car curse claims another victim.
  4. Huh, I have to say that the hosts' clothes honestly never make an impression on me. Anyway, I wonder if winning the car will jinx Richard. On Survivor, the contestant who wins the car never ever wins the whole thing.
  5. There's obviously fine dining in Mexico. I can't believe there's even a need to argue this. Here's one example, Pujol in Mexico City: http://www.pujol.com.mx/english.html
  6. Huh, I was kind of surprised to see people mention the swearing on Top Chef. I have to say that I honestly didn't notice it. I don't swear much at all myself, though I do pretty much expect it in any reality show and certainly in a busy kitchen. A reality show in a busy kitchen? Oh yeah, there's going to be tons of bleeping.
  7. Or he's a pregnant woman. Just about the fastest way to get all sorts of unwanted touching by strangers is to get preg and have it show.
  8. As a customer, I don't mind being bumped or jostled in close quarters -- that's going to happen. And I don't mind being tapped on the shoulder to get my attention. But a caress -- yeesh -- that's just creepy to me. I think I'd want to finish my meal and get out asap.
  9. Look, it's not the size of the bag. The weight of the dough itself is trivial. And of course you have to take breaks while skimming out batches of gnocchi when they float to the top. The method suggested above by papalolo sounds interesting and sufficiently easy that it might be worth making them again, but also I've made them enough now that my curiosity about the recipe has been entirely satisfied. I don't see the problem.
  10. I've made it three times. It was good, but I don't need to make it again, at least not that way, hence why I was glad for the alternate suggestion. Hold your arm up over a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes and tell me how fun it is.
  11. Now that is a great idea. Holding one arm above a pot of boiling water for however long it takes to get through the batch is why I never make them. ← Did you have shoulder surgery or something? It's not THAT hard to hold the bag and cut at the same time....you could just divide up the dough into several portions so the bag is not so heavy when you have to hold it. ← No, it was just annoying. I tend not to repeat doing tasks that are annoying and difficult unless there is a compelling reason to do so. It is not a matter of it being impossible or "that" difficult; I just don't want to do it again because it is sufficiently unpleasant. Capisce?
  12. Now that is a great idea. Holding one arm above a pot of boiling water for however long it takes to get through the batch is why I never make them.
  13. There is bad food, bad coffee, bad tea, and poorly-seasoned food in many restaurants, but come on, the solution is not to bring in outside ingredients so that you can fix it yourself. The restaurant is not your home. The socially-acceptable responses are to say something and hope that something changes (it probably won't), live with it, order around the problem items, or go somewhere else.
  14. I don't think the blanching has anything to do with it. You blanch Italian gnocchi as well.
  15. I've made gnocchi this way (used the recipe in Keller's Bouchon book) and they are great. But, it is sweaty, tiring work to pipe out those little buggers with one hand held above the boiling water and cut them off with the other. I used an ordinary steak knife. I think scissors would just gum up really fast and a bigger knife just seemed to collect goo. I used a gallon-sized freezer bag and just cut off the tip. You keep up a constant, slight pressure with one hand and lop off each one until you can't hold your arm up anymore. Then skim them out of the water and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment so they can dry. At that point, you can use them directly or freeze them. Put the entire pan in the freezer and make sure they don't touch. When they are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag. Then when you want to use them, toss them into the med-hot saute pan (browning the butter first is great here) frozen. So, yes, do it, but the easiest way is to do them ahead and freeze for later.
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