Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by DTBarton

  1. DTBarton

    Brussels Sprouts

    I like to put brussel sprouts in with something I'm braising for the last half hour or so, like beef short ribs. Adds an additional vegetable flavor to the sauce and makes the brussels taste great. They are one veggie I like cooked until done, a little stern if they're still crunchy.
  2. I will also preface by saying I'm no expert. Burgundy is a tricky mistress. I was once in a tony wine store in North Atlanta that had a huge selection of Burgundy That my brother and I were poking around in. The guy working there, older, looked like he'd sampled a few in his day, came over and muttered "Burgundy, the last refuge". As mentioned above, one of the tough things about Burgundy is it can't be solved reliably by throwing money at it. red burgundy can be very unpredictable in the bottle as far as aging. I've kept a few and had them change pretty dramatically over the course of a few years, both getting better and worse. A couple of producers that I like for reasonably priced Burgundy (an oxymoron, I know): Red: Vincent Girardin. Most of his are in a light, fruity style, I've had many that had some of the best nose I've ever smelt (?), tons of raspberries and strawberries and such. White: J. M. Boillot. Nice, consistent chardonnay with minimal oak and mineral elements. Not as rich as the big boys, but mostly in the $20 - $30 range.
  3. With the squid: Agree with bubbly or riesling, Alsace Pinot Gris might be nice as well. With the artichoke risotto: Vouvray, perhaps, depending on the cheese level, wouldn't go Vouvray if you're using a lot of Parmesan, would probably look more towards a nice soft Pinot Noir. So, almost all artchoke flavor in the risotto, Vouvray, more cheese, Pinot Noir. With the tomato bisque: Beaujolais, the 2003 vintage is great, there are a lot of really good ones in the stores now. I also think beaujolais might go well with the artichoke risotto. Meat and mushroom sounds good for the bordeaux, please let us know how they are. An additional nice thing for a vegetarian with big red wine is some good swiss Raclette cheese which is served melted and bubbling with crusty bread, roasted red potatoes, and gherkins. Have fun, wish Grandma a happy birtday for us.
  4. I'm sure you're right, that sounds familiar. The proprietor was very nice. I ordered a meatball sandwich and he said "we're putting out meatballs for free in a few minutes, maybe get something else". Nice dose of give a damn about strangers just in off the street.
  5. Italian open face sandwich at lunch. All leftovers. Italian bread from Apicella's in Baltimore, italian sausage from Fiorella brothers in Philadelphia, homemade marinara, grated parmesan from Claudio's in Philadelphia. Marinara and sausage leftover from dinner a couple nights ago. Pure simple bliss from good ingredients.
  6. Maybe a little fusion pasta? Rice noodles with dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper. In old Italian custom, I'd skip the cheese when serving fish. For veggies, I'd do a stir fried mix of thin julienned stuff, you pick: zuchinni, carrot fennel, leeks, red onion, peppers of any variety. Then you can crank the asian quotient up or down. Down would be a little butter, salt and pepper. Up would be a szechuan sauce of some kind.
  7. I can definitely second the recommendations for the Italian Market and Murray's for near the Barnes (The Barnes will blow you away, love the choices of what to display together with respect to colors etc.). Had great Matzoh ball soup and Pastrami at Murray's after the Barnes. Italian Market definitely more authentic than Reading Terminal, though Reading's not bad. Personal Italian market faves: Cheese/prepared meats - Claudio's, DiBruno's on 9th street Italian sausage - Fiorella brothers 810 Christian Street Sweets - Isgro's pastry a couple blocks west of Fiorella's on Christian street, go for a ricotta cannoli Kitchen stuff - Fante's on 9th street (amazing store for cooking junkies) Restaurant - Ralph's a little further north on 9th, 700 block, I think Hoagies - Sarcone's a little further north on 9th from Ralph's cheese steaks/pizza - Lorenzo's corner of 9th and Christian Pork Sandwiches - George's next door to Lorenzo's many good butchers and produce stands Here's a link to the definitive guide to cheap good Philly eats: http://www.hollyeats.com/Philadelphia.htm Big chinatown also. I've had great meals at Sang Kee Duck house on 9th street about 3 blocks north of Market Street. They have a stall in the Reading Terminal, but go to the 9th street restaurant. Also had good stuff at Joe's Peking Duck house, 925 Race Street. Enjoy! Go Eagles!!!
  8. There's a chain sports bar (Champions, I think) on Market street across from Loew's hotel at about 12th or 13th street. We were in Philly for the Army/Navy game last year and were going to go in there to watch the Eagles/Cowboys on Sunday. Too crowded, rotten food. We walked south on 12th a few blocks and found a local bar with some decent free food and good sandwiches and lots of local color. Much more authentic and satisfying.
  9. For the non-oyster lovers or the oyster uninitiated: You must understand that not all oysters are created equal. A poor oyster for my taste is watery and lacking in saltiness. These oysters will taste bland and are awful raw. I live in Maryland and Chesapeake Bay oysters are sold around here and often they are watery. Try to make oyster stew with them and it's bland, there's no flavor in the oyster liquor. I have better luck with Chincoteague oysters from VA. My personal favorites are Bulls Bay oysters from South Carolina but you pretty much have to head down there to get them (or convince your SC friends to come visit and deliver). A good oyster for me is not too large and has a clean, briny taste that's the essence of the sea. It is enhanced raw with a bit of lemon and horseradish, but don't drown it in wimpy cocktail sauce (a little cocktail is OK, ask for extra hrseradish and use it sparingly). Lesser oysters can be salvaged somewhat by frying in a light coating that adds some salt, but it's hard to fix them for raw or stew. So, unbelievers, search out some good oysters with a believer and be converted!
  10. DTBarton

    Pot Roast

    To me, the most important step in any slow cooked or braised beef is browning. Therefore, even if I'm going to slow cook the meat in the crock pot, I thoroughly brown it on the stove over pretty high heat. Put a little oil in the pan, dust the meat with a little flour and salt and pepper and brown it as well as you can. I usually sautee onions, pancetta, or whatever in the browning pan and deglaze with the braising liquid and/or wine. Make sure you do this if you're transferring to a crock pot because all the good flavor is in that stew! The browning takes a little time and messes up another pan, but it's worth it.
  11. Another good local source for bread is the Bonaparte bakery in Savage Mill MD (north of Laurel just off Route 1). We had a local caterer in Edgewater, MD who had a retail store front that carried the Bonaparte bread, it was as good as any I've found locally. Flavorful, crusty, came in baguettes, boules, and bruschettas. Unfortunately, their catering business is going well, and they nixed the retail storefront AND the good bread distributorship. We still have pretty good bread at the Whole Foods and Giolitti's in Annapolis, but none are up to Bonaparte's level.
  12. Having done a little research preparing for a Super Bowl party where the theme will be Philadelphia style food (Go Eagles!), I have a little more info to add on this topic. We tried 4 Italian hoagies in the Annapolis/Baltimore area. We told each place to make their standard Italian, i.e. no tailoring to personal tastes. They are rated herein in order of preference. 1. Apicella's - 221 S. High Street in Baltimore's Little Italy: Very nice sandwich on a fresh roll. Capacolla, Genoa, mortadella, provolone, lettuce, tomato, pepperoncini, dressing, and olive spread. Thanks to the eGullet poster who recommended this place. Tried a pizza too, really good from a wood burning oven. One of the few non-restaurant places in Little Italy, wish they had more stuff like the italian Market in Philly since it's closer. They make their own mozzarella, porchetta (fresh ham), roast beef, and soup as well. 2. The Italian Market - 126 Defense Highway between Annapolis Mall and Home Depot: Also a nice sandwich on a fresh roll. Capacolla, genoa, provolone, lettuce, tomato, peppers. A close second. Large market with many interesting Italian goodies to peruse including wine. If you're lucky, they will have fresh, warm Italian rolls in the box by the cash register. Second location in Gambrills, MD. 3. Giolitti's - 2068 Summerville Rd, Annapolis, in Parole just off West street: Not bad, but a step down. They make the sandwich on their Tuscan roll, which I love by itself, but it's a little too much bread for the rest of the stuff. Cold cuts not as flavorful. Smaller market with plenty of goodies and wine. Try the fresh Tuscan bread or homemade pastas. 4. Whole Foods market - Annapolis Harbor Center: Least of the bunch, they got several demerits for having CHICKEN bologna on the standard Italian, hoo boy! We get a lot of use out of Whole foods, particularly cheese, some of the meat (we're very partial to their Bell and Evans chicken) and seafood, and the bakery. Find the deli to mostly underachieve, especially for the prices they charge. Some nice produce, but a lot of regular grocery store stuff but more expensive. Final verdict is we'll probably get the party hoagies from the Italian Market in Annapolis due to convenience. Soft pretzels from the Amish market in Annapolis Harbor Center, and cheese steaks from Jake's Steaks in Edgewater MD in the South River Colony shopping center. Not the greatest, but passable for a Maryland Eagles party! Too lazy to drive north or do it myself for a crowd.
  13. While I have certainly had some bad meals presented by family and friends, they were all trying in reasonably good faith to do something nice. One consistently repeated problem is not understanding the concept that all raw ingredients are NOT created equal! From this problem comes forth watery shrimp, plastic cheese, gristly meat and dry desserts. But no specific transgression of friends and family will be detailed here out of respect for the perpetrators. So, I'll mention a few particularly awful restaurant meals from places that should have known better. Perhaps this could be a new thread at some point. 1. Steak and eggs in Paris: Just took a flyer with my brother on a breakfast place on a right bank street corner. The toughest meat ever served to a human as consumable. Impossible to cut across the huge grain, it literally bent our silverware. Hacking with the grain eventually produced meaty shards of dental floss. Nearly raw eggs and burnt toast and lousy coffee. I was reminded of Rodney Dangerfield, "this steak still has marks where the jockey was hitting it!". 2. Cassoulet in a fashionable (and pricey) Upper East side Manhattan hotel: Greasy, salty mess with a mass of WAY undercooked beans. I dubbed it greasy gravel. Utterly inedible. On top of that, the service was uppity and obnoxious. 3. Paella at a well respected restaurant in Key West: $30 entree that had obviously been reheated from lunch, or last night's dinner, or the jurrasic age. Dry crunchy rice with hideously dry seafood. So overcooked the dark meat chicken was dry and chewy. Shameless. I mean, if you're gonna serve reheated rice for $30, at least throw a newish shrimp on top! Didn't send any of these abominations back because: 1. Wasn't that hungry anyway, and who orders steak and eggs in Paris? 2. Mother in Law treating, already enough of a scene underway! 3. Taken to restaurant by good friends, one of their favorites. Would have broken her heart if I told her how rotten it was.
  14. I've long been a big fan of Alsace wines (some have said that the wines are called Alsace and an Alsatian is a dog). I believe they provide the best price/quality ratio because they are not particularly popular (not made with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc grapes) with American palates. Also, many Americans are put off by the sometimes oily, or glycerine like consistency. Me, I love it! If you like the Trimbach Reislings, try some of the other moderately priced producers like Pierre Sparr and Domaine Weinbach. I've found these producers to be very consistent, i.e. you don't have to fret too much over vintages. Try some of the other grapes as well. Alsace pinot gris is the French version of the Italian pinot grigio and is much more complex. Alsace Sylvaner is a grape variety that almost nobody else uses (I have seen one from Oregon, I think). If you want to experience the true greatness of Alsace winemaking, spring for some Zind-Humbrecht. I think the five best white wines I've ever tasted have been Zind-Humbrects. They range in price from about $25 up to almost $100, but a low end Zind is very good and the more expensive Reislings are incredible. Mouthfulls of apple fruit. Zind-Humbrecht provides an opportunity to taste a world class white wine for far less than the top notch white Burgundies. Shellfish is a great match, raw or cooked, as is smoked fish served with cream cheese. As mentioned above, mussels are very tradtional. If you're ever in Antwerp, Belgium, go to a restaurant called the Red Hat by the cathedral and have mussels and Alsace wine And I agree with the posters who recommended matching Alsace wines with asian food, works great. Also a favorite at Thanksgiving dinner, it really shines with the turkey/diverse side dish/cranberry thing.
  15. I agree with the post that said put the parchment paper in the oven. I flatten my dough on parchment, add the sauce and toppings, and pick the whole thing up by the corners of the parchment and put it on the stone. No peel or cornmeal required. As the previous poster said, the paper turns dark brown but doesn't impart any flavor to the pie or inhibit crust crisping even in a very hot oven. I turn the oven on 500 about 30 - 40 minutes before cooking pizza to get the oven and the stone as hot as possible and the parchment still works great.
  16. I just saw ICA for the first time last night and enjoyed it. It was the episode with live catfish as the ingredient and the Mario Batali catfish wrestling was fun to watch. He was up against a chef from Puerto Rico. I think the whole thing's a hoot and should be enjoyed as such, without too much thinking. I mean, you can't read Dostoyevsky and Umberto Eco all the time! I have always figured the chefs knew the ingredient ahead of time (on both the original and ICA) because they always show up with off the wall accompaniments for their dishes. I just happened to have some caviar, some fresh fennel, and some Israeli cous cous in my car out back, eh?
  17. I'm very fond of the eggs in Hades (not purgatory, my eggs were more badly behaved). I use a soffrito instead of marinara (more latin than Italian, saute onions, garlic, a little celery and chile peppers to taste, add a can of diced tomatoes, cook to desired consistency and then poch eggs in the sauce). This morning was country ham biscuits to watch the snow. I use the Joy of Cooking buttermilk biscuit recipe and had a little frozen country ham left over from the holidays. Very enjoyable with strong coffee and Sunday paper.
  18. DTBarton

    pork roast

    In this modern pork world (lean pigs and no danger of trichinosis) I like to go with a lower temperature also, usually around 150. Keep in mind that the temperature will keep rising after you take the roast out. The old fasioned advice of 180 - 185 that you see on old meat thermometers assumed a much higher fat content in the pork. The cut makes a difference also. Rule of thumb is the leaner the cut, the lower the temerature. Very lean cuts like loins and a lot of the chops these days are better at lower temperatures (say 145 or so). A pork shoulder with a goodly amount of internal fat can go a little higher (say 160 - 165). Another good way to preserve moisture is to consider braising the pork for at least part of the cooking time. You don't have to cover the meat with liquid, just cook it in a covered dutch oven with some flavored braising liquid. Caramelize an onion and add some chicken broth is one good way. If you want to brown up the outside, take the roast out of the braising pan and liquid and finish it uncovered in the oven for a bit.
  19. DTBarton

    When you braise

    My old favorite is beef short ribs (long cut if you can get them, I love that: long cut short ribs, like jumbo shrimp) My new favorite that my Mom cooked for us during the holidays: fresh ham. The best tasting pork roast type thing I've had in a while what with the leanification of the pigs. She simmered the ham in water for about an hour, drained it and simmered it in beer with onions, brown sugar, and carrots for another 3 or 4 hours. It was great. Can't wait to try it myself.
  20. DTBarton

    Dinner! 2005

    Last night: Roasted chicken leg quarters liberally coated with salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, and basted with fresh lemon juice. Served with roasted potatoes coated with a little worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper (before roastng) and belgian endive simmered in chicken broth with diced ginger (first time, very tasty, saw some belgian endive in the store that looked like it hadn't been there since Christmas). Also took a left over frozen country ham bone from the holidays and cut off the bits of meat and fat and fried them until crisp and removed the grisly stuff. Then sauteed diced onion and celery, added a can of diced tomatoes, and a pound of soaked dried balck eyed peas. Simmered the stuff for a couple hours with the ham bone and bay leaves. Removed the bone and bay leaves and put the peas in a glass bowl in the fridge for consumption over the weekend. They get better with a little age.
  21. While I'm not sure, I would guess that DC Mark is looking for actual mutton as opposed to lamb. The meat of a grown sheep will have a stronger flavor and somewhat coarser texture than that of young lamb. There are some good long cooked recipes (as well as some old fashioned ones) that call for mutton. All that being said, I don't have a ready source. I have had good luck at most grocery stores or butchers asking them to special order stuff for me.
  22. One of my favorite topics. I can second two previous recommendations: Capriotti's in Newark, DE (I believe they have some other locations in the greater Wilmington area) is excellent. Just got subs there last Sunday, great Italian and also the best turkey subs if you like those. Also agree about Sarcone's in the Italian market in Philly (9th and Fitzwater). A little different style than the Delaware subs. Called hoagies in Philly! They use great Sarcone's bread from the bakery down the street next to Ralph's restaurant (also a good place for Italian eats). They use a smaller quantity of very high quality flavorful Italian meats like prosciutto and soprasetta. Excellent. Also in northern Delaware, Casapulla's serves excellent Italian subs, don't like their other varieties as much as at Caprioti's. Get an Italian with prosciutto and dig in. I go to the location in Glasgow DE, in a shopping center near the intersection of routes 40 and 896, there are other locations.
  23. I also used to enjoy rijsaffels (rice table) in Indonesian restaurants in Holland. My favorite was at a place called Bali in Breda. The multiple entrees (about 12 to 15)were served in smallish dishes with enough for all at the table to have a taste, kind of like asian tapas. Hot bananas for dessert. The table was literally covered with these small dishes. I'd be interested to know what is served with rijstaffel at Sarinah.
  • Create New...