Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by thenextmeal

  1. You don't want to use anything other than duck fat. But here's a trick... I trim off the breasts, remove the two legs, then render the fat from the remains. Now - this is the trick - seal the legs covered with about half the rendered fat (that's all you'll need to cover them) in a vacum bag or a zip lock if you don't have a vac sealer and cook sous-vide for 8 or 10 hours. If you are not yet a home vid-er, it's easy. Get a good sized stockpot -minimum 6 or 8 quarts and fill with H20. Heat to about 180° then lower heat and watch temp (I use a cheap digital imersion therm. with an alarm) for 30 minutes or so to be sure it is stabilized at that around that temp or so. Once you are confident, add the duck. FYI the temp will go down at that point - you can increase the heat for a bit and monitor it or just let it return on it's own. 8 or so hours later... By the way, save the extra rendered duck fat for roasted potatoes. Oo-la-la! And the sous-vide notes apply to cooking anything you want to cook this way as an alternative to a traditional braise. Cooking fish, vegetables, eggs etc this way is a bit more complicated and less forgiving, but not beyond my down and dirty method once you do the basic 180° version a few times.
  2. This week's (Boulder) Daily Camera has a story on thenextmeal and a group of my friends. Anyone with whom I've communicated here can probaly guess that I'm the instigator (and beef-ager) in this particular conspiracy... It's on the Camera site, but without all the pics and the recipes. Here's a PDF of the print version in case you didn'nt see it: http://www.springhillmedia.com/le_Boef_2007.pdf
  3. Is this how they made the frozen chocolate malt I still dream of? (Note to self: Buy lottery tickets) ← Yes, Bekki. Basically you can put anything in a pacojet cannister (from chopped fruit to a custard flavored with chocolate and powdered malt!) and freeze it, then the pacojet "shaves" it into a mousse-like texture. For a clearer/better explanation: http://www.pacojet.com
  4. Hit Frasca late Saturday nite a few weeks ago. Was only half-hungry but saw from my car that the salumi bar was empty, so couldn't resist (had a big post opera-simulcast steak in Denver that day at Ted Turner's chain - pretty darn good, by the way. Harris beef, fresh french fries. Decent steakhouse iceberg wedge. Some solid $30-40 reds big enough to hold up to the steak. 3/4 as good as, less than 1/2 the price of an average steakhouse. But I digress...) i haven't been there in a good six months, but Bobby had a big greeting, and glass of Tocai delivered as soon as I sat down. Since I wasn't so hungry, I asked for a half order of the salumi platter, and half a glass of a lighter red. Then a half of the ravioli in the beef brodo, which is as clear as a consome, by the way. Roasted button mushrooms, very thin pasta, delicious. Bigger red. Then (again half) on the cheese plate. I was torn on which cheese to aim my wine at - Bobby solved it for me with tiny pours of three different whites. Then one quenelle of the butter pecan from the Pacojet (this is the one ridiculously expensive piece of pro gadgetry that I'm buying if I win the lottery - the ice cream these things make is sublime.) Coffee and some kind of after dinner thing that I can't rember the name of...I had never heard of it before (and I know my exotic alcohol!) In a word - perfect. The quality of the food is unsurpassable - even for a simple, mostly cold, tasting-type menu, which is effectivly what I did. The wine program, and Bobby's execution are obviously beyond compare. We are so lucky to have this place here in town. One note - I got to chatting with the fellow who was slicing the salumi and quenelle-ing up a storm behind the salumi bar, and he was very knowledgable about food (I had just returned from France, incliuding a lunch at Bocuse, so I was full of pretentioius foodie yapping.) It would probably take about a day to train someone to do what he was doing - but turned out he had 2 years of C-school and a year or so of slave labor in France under his belt. All that and he's making quenelles - that's an indication of the level of prestige the F-boys already have - youngsters realize a stint there is going to still be in their C-Vs in 25 years... What does this mean for us? Great quenelles!
  5. Wow - that's the first I had thought of St Estephe in a long, long time. What a fantastic place that was. What happened to Sedlar - is he still around? I had a book I bought that was based on a (mid 80s?) PBS show called "Great Chefs Of The Southwest" and Sedler was in there. So was Mansion on Turtle Creek, Miller (I think), and I also think Border grill, back when they were on Melrose, etc., etc. I still cook out of that book, BTW, so if you ever see one in a thrift store, buy it!
  6. Enjoy Robuchon, and when you get home go here for jackets etc: http://www.allheartchefs.com I thought that may be the case about the jackets. Thanks for the pm. I've cancelled Ogden and booked L'Atlier. We're open to any other suggestions also instead of Sensi for a more casual night if anyone has any ideas. cm ←
  7. Busboy is way off target here. I've eaten all over the planet, too, and Frasca would be top tier anywhere in the world. Adega was, as well. Rioja - fantastic. Kevin Taylor, like wise. And there's plenty more... And what's wrong with Mel's, Busboy? It's not supposed to be Le Bernardin (or Jams, for that matter - but more the latter than the former!) Solid joint, never had a bad meal there, and a great (practical) wine list. And the mussels (along with a nice Sancerre maybe) is as sublime a dining experience as you are likely to have anywhere. The point isn't whther Denver ranks with NYC or SF (both places I have lived, BTW.) The point is whether or not there are a variety of great high-end restaurants of various types. Enough to keep things interesting. 10 years ago that was a bit dicey here - not anymore.
  8. I was in Berlin last year just about this time, and enjoyed both Lutter & Wegner 1811 and Paris Bar. L&W was trad German, PB a trad Paris Bistro (including lamb I remarked was the best quality meat I had in Germany which the waiter quiclky advised it was the best lamb in Germany because it was brought in from France!) Nothing innovative, needless to say, but top notch if yopu enjoy this kind of dining. Both, apparently, see and be seen spots. L&W mostly politicos and assorted tycoons, PB more hipsters/showbiz/media types. Great city for street food, BTW. One day I had a smoked pork chop with (of course) kraut and a beer in the plaza in front of Kaiser Wilhelm church (major landmark/tourist spot) that was as good as it gets. And the best wursts are everywhere! By the way, Berlin is an absolutely fascinating place. I went only because I had to be in Germany on business and thought I might as well go to see Berlin, had no idea how interesting it would be. Museums, memorials, architecture etc. 3 or 4 opera houses. Jazz clubs. And the Berlin Phil is one of the world's great halls if you can hear something there.
  9. Lucille's has always, in my experience, been a little hit or miss. Inevitably either the sausage is a bit greasy, the eggs not cooked exactly right, or everything swims in too much of whatever semi-exotic sauce finishes the dish. If the plates were $12 it would be an issue, but at greasy spoon tariffs it's OK. The Beignets have never, on the other, disappointed, but maybe I have just been lucky on that front. It's a place I take out-of-towners on occasion, but otherwise I wouldn't waste the calories. Too bad, as with a bit more attention in the kitchen it would be epic...
  10. The (quail) egg was below the soup. Gently pulling the spoon through the soup with each taste gradually brought the egg and the herb pesto up into the incredibly rich and nuanced soup, for an incredibly complex final effect on the palate. Bordered on sinful. By the way, a friend of mine on the way to India had a one-day layover in Paris last week, and I sent him to LAJR. He just sent me an email raving about this soup as well...
  11. I just came back from Austin and an investment of considerable energy in the BBQ hunt. A few obvious places missing from this list would be... City Market in Luling, many argue this is the best in the Austin area, or possibly Texas. In Lockhart, Blacks. In Austin proper, there is a pretty good consensus on Iron Works (downtown next to the convention center) as being the best in-town. Also, The Salt Lick. gets lots of media attention, but among the locals there are lots of detractors for TSL. I hit it last year and enjoyed it, but I'd exhaust Lockhart and Luling first. And by the way, there is plenty of bad barbeque around, so go with a list of places to hit.
  12. Just getting around to going through my notes from a visit to Paris. Here are a few words re the notable meals... La Maison de l' Aubrac 37, rue Marbeuf 1 arr, Tel : 01 43 59 05 14 - Merits mention for being open 24 hours, but also had a very pleasant beef-centric meal here. They apparently own a ranch in Aubrac, and are quite proud of their award-winning herd (pictures of steer with medals around their necks adorn the walls here) as well as the wines from Languedoc. The list here, by the way, is quite exceptional, and full of wines we don't often see here in the states. plenty of lovely wines available by the glass at the bar, and nary a Bordeaux on anywhere! CHEZ GEORGES 1, rue de Mail 2 arr Tel: 01 42 60 07 11 Classic bistro that simply never disappoints. And not owned by Flo. The size of the piece of skate wing I had for lunch made me think I was back in the US, but the the taste left no doubt it was Paris. Brasserie Balzar 49, rue des Ecoles 5 arr Paris 014 3541367 On the other hand, Balzar IS owned by Flo, but I go here once each visit for my frisee with lardons and choucroute garnie fix, and it never disappoints. This year no exception. Novice Paris visitors will also be able to have the quintessential snooty French waiter experience here! Fumoir (Le) 6, rue de l'Amiral de Coligny 014 2920024 Was having dinner with a native Parisian, and this was what she chose...lovely location (directly across the street from the Louvre) pleasant interior and Ok service, but food was B- at best. Don't waste a precious Paris meal here, but a nice spot for a drink Relais de l'Entrecôte (Le) 15, rue Marbeuf 1 arr 014 9520717 Went here based on Zagat, as it sounded interesting: one dish, no reservations, cheap - I thought this might be the French result of the same impulse that led to McDonalds in the US! Skip it. Crowded, noisy, wait on a rainy Sunday nite in February was 30 minutes, frites sub par and the "secret" sauce on the steak was best left under wraps. Walk the four or five blocks up to La Maison de l'Aubrac for a big beef nite! ATELIER DE JOËL ROBUCHON (L') 5, rue de Montalembert 7 arr 014 2225656 Well, as few will find surprising, here was the big winner. The low key energy of the space, the black outfits, the minimalist decor, the hanging hams, and the showcase kitchen in the center of the wraparound counter - instead of the studio it it should have been called the cathedral. JR and staff are the priests, and we are here to worship food. I had the nine course menu so as to have the maximum amount of different items, and I'd heartily recomend that approach (though the two guys next to me did nicely with two courses and then a cheese plate that I was tempted to mug them so I could steal.) Every dish was sublime, though the standout was a mushroom (cream) soup served in a martini glass with a raw egg and a parsley pesto base underneath the soup. Then there is the milk fed pork, with Robechon's famed mashed potatoes as a side, and of course the single scallop, sauteed and...you get the picture. Of course it is expensive. With wine and coffee, and the nasty exchange rate, my Amex bill said $175 when I got home! Worth every penny...
  13. A friend gave this to me a year or so ago and I read it in one sitting (actually "lying" as I was up most of the nite in bed reading it.) I would certainly recomend it. The various "diversions" as mentioned above are something you either enjoy or you don't. Slightly off topic, another Paris book I'd rec is The Flaneur (Writer and the City) by Edmund White. It is more focused on the city's literary history and various locations related to that history, but has some food related items, and also has the digressive quality of a stroll throuygh the city, where one has no idea what might lie around the next corner.
  14. Both Pudlowski and Simon indicated in their books they sometimes eat solo, so I figure maybe I'll be mistaken for a critic - ha! ← Thanks all for the tips. All duly noted for cross checking with guides, maps etc. Point taken ré Parisian vs NYC norms. NYC is indeed my reference point. Not that I let it stop me a few weeks ago when I went directly from the airport to AUREOLE for the (recomended) after 2:00 prix fixe lunch. A nice black suit and black dress shirt can effecrtively deflect the disapproving looks, by the way!
  15. On a lark I decided to check e-g for Paris info and am stunned at how much info there is here. Many thanks for all the postings, especially the review digest. Wow! I am in Cannes right now, taking the TGV Thursday (1.27) for my annual Paris visit. If anyone who sees this has any food related tips for this specific period they would be welcome. Feel free top PM any art/music/culture tips, too, by the way. One question - can anyone suggest good solo dining spots? I tend to favor the classic brasseries like Lipp/Flo/Balcazar because I find them to be good for lone food-ranger adventures, but if anyone has a suggestion for places the next level or so up that might be good for a solo (I know from experience that early in the week is better for solos at high-end places but it is what it is) that would be great. By the way, here's a Cannes tip - very lovely trad meal last nite at a place called Mirabelle, up on the Sucoret (sp?) the famous winding uphill street with all the restaurants near the castle. Sauteed Foi Gras, braised lamb shank with white beans - that sort of thing - but very nicely done, especially for tourist-y Cannes.
  16. I ate at Bombay Bistyo one Sunday a few weeks ago, and spoke with the (very earnest) owner, so got the back story...He is related to the folks who own Tandori Grill (brother-in-law of chef/owner I think it was) and so couldn't open a normal Indian rest in town unless he wanted to be banished from the family - hence the upscale/fusion concept. TG is, by the way, my favorite Indian in town. As I said, very earnest fellow, with I think a serious cooking school background (or maybe it was the head chef? - anyway, somebody is a Culinary Inst or similar grad) trying to do something interesting a la the fushion Indian trend hapening in major cities (at least NY/LA/Chicago.) Alas, everything just missed. Conceptually interesting dishes (mostly) that were so-so on the plate. And as others remarked, standard high-end prices (upper teens, lower twenties for entrees) meant the prices for the trad Indian items on the menu were a bit silly. Server was very amateurish (though, again, very earnest and trying hard) as well. Swami predicts: "Bombay Bistro not long for this world. Space on Broadway and Spruce shall not achieve Nirvana, but will experience reincarnation in near future as expression of unfufilled desire to be successful eatery." By the way, Swami did find a decent $40 Pinot there he had never tried before - Chandon - Cali sparkling wine folks - I think 2002. On sale (retail) for $15 or so, I'd say it's worth it. $20 or more you can do better.
  • Create New...