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Everything posted by fooey

  1. I still haven't defrosted the loins, but want to thank everyone above for the ideas. I'm glad I posted, as I would have never thought of them as "Asian capers". I would have used the whole bag.
  2. The Republic of Tea's Big Green Hojicha. The Tea Companion recommends a 20-second steep at 203F, but instructions on the package say 2-4 minutes at that temp, so who knows?! I did 170 F for 3 minutes and it was great, so maybe I'll risk the off boil. It's quite wonderful, very low in caffeine/theophylline (5mg/cup), and is relaxing and enjoyable. If it didn't say green tea on the label, I'd think it an oolong.
  3. I will never again...store my pastry brushes in a ZipLoc bag. The drawer where I keep my pastry brushes and such was becoming disorganized, so I put all the brushes in a ZipLoc gallon size freezer bag. That way they could socialize when I was away (and I could find them when I needed them). I didn't realize that putting not-completely-dry pastry brushes into a sealed plastic bag in a warm kitchen would be creating the perfect biosphere for mold, and boy was it ever! The bag looks like a scene from CSI. I can see the see the pastry brush corpses, but just barely, as the bag has been completely taken over by mold.
  4. If Ranhofer's recipe is not French, then what is it? If Homard à la Newburg is not classic, then how old, how much history does a dish have to have to be considered classic? I think Peterson is right in calling it a French classic if, by such, he means the techniques involved are French and, relative to today, it's a classic dish, which it is. Your original dispute was not with Peterson, it was with me: "It [La Varenne] has the usual creme brulée, brown sauce, mayonnaise, but little from the pantheon of French cuisine–no Homard à la Newburg, no Pigeonneau en salmis, no Îles flottantes here." You replied: "don't look for that lobster dish in the French canon: it's an American creation (with significant US food-history associations)" I said pantheon; you said canon; those words are not synonymous.
  5. I can't speak for Peterson, but I'm sure he has a more expansive view of what makes a French dish French, a classic dish classic, as do I. If 1876 is the date (and not Louis Faucher's 1852 claim), that makes it 27 years older than first edition of Escoffier's Le Guide culinaire. I won't find Homard à la Newburg in Le Guide culinaire, but does that make it not French? Not classic? I suppose that depends on the arbiter. We have French techniques, French chefs (including Ranhofer, who went to back to France after Delmonico's), restaurants that served French cuisine because it was "the" cuisine of the time, a French name, but it's not a French classic? It wasn't made in France, so it's not French?
  6. Le Trumilou is nearby and has excellent, if traditional bistro fare, but not the other things you desire. It's at 84, quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, 4th. Pictures here.
  7. I pulled it out of Peterson's Glorious French Food (p. p 337), where he writes, "This is another of the great French classics that were once popular on American menus (in French restaurants, at least), but now are all but forgotten. This is a pity because, when well prepared, lobster Newburg captures the essence of lobster far better than lobster à la américaine." I don't even eat lobster. The thought of dispatching in 10 minutes a crustacean that could be three times my 34 years old is just disturbing.
  8. Also known as le bistrot! Can you narrow it down some? What arrondissement? Or what part of the city? Are you looking for traditional or neo (these are more haute)? Price range?
  9. That's what I said. You can't name the temp. re: heat/piquancy, I find you get to a certain point, and you can't tell (from the sensations in your mouth, palette, etc.) that the heat is getting hotter (like you can't tell the cold is getting colder); but, like you say with temperature, the body definitely knows. It's almost like the mouth says, "OK, brain, I've used all my magic tricks, your turn." Brain responds with somatic feedback like numbness, ear ringing, etc.
  10. This sounds like one of those "Eskimo have 30 words for snow" etymological problems. I sometimes wonder, for example, if I'll ever understand balance in southeast Asian cuisine because I suspect they have 100 words to our 4 (hot, sour, salty, sweet). I can visualize heat/pungency as a stick of dynamite: has either a short fuse (hits you immediately) or a long fuse (slowly builds) and either fizzles (gets only so hot, then fizzles out) or explodes (gets so damned hot that sensory system pegs**, doesn't report back after a certain threshold, somatic/psychosomatic feedback (numbness, ears ringing, "traveling ants on face" sensation, blurry vision). Short fuse, fizzles = mustard, chopped garlic, shallots/onions, wasabi, horseradish Long fuse, fizzles = serranos, chile arbol Short fuse, explodes = jalapeños Long fuse, explodes = habaneros, piquin **I think our sensory systems shut down after exceeding certain maximum/minimum thresholds. Ask anyone who lives in a climate that gets extremely cold and they'll tell you that, much colder than -10 F (-23.3 C), you can't really tell how cold it is. It could be -40 F/C and it's just impossible to tell the difference between that and -10F/-23.3C. It's like our sensory systems are designed to operate between certain thresholds and, beyond those, feedback either stops or can't be discerned.
  11. I use it like I use smoked sausage, but not usually in place of, just as a compliment to, say if I don't have a smoky enough taste. I'm careful to taste it before I use it in anything, however. It's either much too salty or not salty at all. If it's too salty, I rinse it, like I rinse brine off of brined meat. It's the smoky flavour I want, and that survives desalination.
  12. I bought a package of salted black beans when I was at the Asian market yesterday. When I have them, I can never figure out what to put them in. When I don't, I see ten recipes cross my screen that I want to make. Odd that. Ingredients on the package say "salt, black beans", so I'm guessing not fermented black beans, just salted? I need to dispatch a couple of pork loins soon, so ideas with pork would be great.
  13. My goto book is Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. Sleepy_Dragon said "Also note copious number of sticky notes hanging off the side of Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking". That's what mine looks like, tons of sticky notes hanging out to remind me of how much I loved this or that recipe.
  14. fooey


    On second thought, it's hard to make anything with nectarines that will surpass the fruit on its own. Just eat 'em until you can't stand it anymore.
  15. fooey


    I'm thinking what RWood was thinking, upside down cake or tart. I made Tarte Renversée Caramélisée aux Abricots last year with nectarines instead of apricots and it was yum. It was like a Tarte Tatin, but sweeter.
  16. You're right, Fooey! I just got this in the mail the other day and it has gone right to the top of my favorite cookbooks. Thanks! Peterson is a one-man army of cookbook authors. He's won 3 James Beard awards for his books. Even those that didn't win, like his Splendid Soups, are worth owning. His Sauces is my favorite technical text. Did you like 8 pages of reference on French pronunciation? I loved it! Augustin is not "august-steen" it's "aww-goose-stan!"
  17. I have La Varenne Pratique. It's not a French cookbook. It's a cooking school text (skills, techniques, product use and identification, etc). It's a "how do I temper chocolate" or "how do I truss a chicken" text, and a very comprehensive one at that. La Varenne is/was a cooking school (sounds like it's in Southern California now, not Burgandy) and it's the kind of book you would use in cooking school (or, like me, in spite of it). It has the usual creme brulée, brown sauce, mayonnaise, but little from the pantheon of French cuisine–no Homard à la Newburg, no Pigeonneau en salmis, no Îles flottantes here. Where La Varenne shines is in its encyclopedic coverage of ingredients, tools and procedures. If you buy a pepper and don't know what it is, Varenne will probably tell you. It's also tell you the Latin name, where it's grown, its season, how to choose them, recommended portions, nutritive value, cooking methods, when it's done, processed forms, typical dishes, etc. That's really how I think of La Varenne, not as a French cookbook, but an encyclopedic reference of ingredients and (Western) technique. IMO, La Varenne is the "what" to La Method's "how", although both have some significant overlap. If you want 80% of La Varenne, buy Le Cordon Blue Complete Cooking Techniques. It covers much of the same ground, is cheaper, and has better photography (La Varenne was originally published in 1989, but the photos (and many of the recipes recipes) seem strangely dated, like from those Reader's Digest cookbooks from the 1970s).
  18. I'm not sure how relevant Clement's (a la cuisine's) reference still is, DooDad. The molecular gastronomy pages haven't been updated in almost 5 years, the blog 2+ years. L'epicerie still recommends it as a resource, so I could be wrong. I wish he'd come back. He had awesome food photography.
  19. L'epicerie has 5 pages of ingredients under their molecular gastronomy section.
  20. fooey

    tapas/meze ideas

    Get some Medjool dates, show them how to remove the seed and replace it with an almond, then wrap each date in a slice (or half slice) of bacon, stick a toothpick through them to secure the bacon, and then deep fry in olive oil until the bacon is done. Sweet, savory, crunchy, and they always get raves. I've done bananas and sweet 'taters this way too, just no almond.
  21. I use loose leaf green tea and a Bee House 22 oz. teapot. I can't get boiling water from the hot water dispenser thingy, so I drink only green teas at work. I suppose I could bring an electric kettle to work, but I don't. I could also boil the water in the microwave, but the microwave is the enemy, so neva', neva'! I just fill the tea pot with hot water (it's about 185 F when it comes out of the hot water dispenser thingy) to warm it, then empty, then refill, then walk back to office, trying not to spill hot water on anyone. When water temp cools to about 165 F, I drop in my basket of loose green tea, steep for ~3 minutes, remove basket, and drink. The teapot gets far too many comments/questions, especially when I'm walking back to my office.
  22. Diamonds sounds like something on the rocks, so a clear spirit or spirits on the rocks? Cointreau on the rocks? Orange curacao and tonic water (bitter and bitter works) on the rocks? Then again, when the rocks melt, so go the diamonds and so much for forever.
  23. I agree, you have to be careful with some of these books. You think from their titles that "fast" means from groceries to dinner in 30 minutes, but it's usually fast prep, but slooooooow cooking. Or, perhaps more specific, fast if you've put the time into acquiring certain ingredients that facilitate a shortcut (ex. buy carrot juice instead of peeling and juicing 10 carrots). Those no-knead bread books, like Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day (or whatever it's called, artisan? feh!), are just as culpable. Even one of the books I posted above (Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Simple Cuisine) is "simple" if you have the juices or infused oils at the ready (or one of those Breville "I-will-juice-even-your-shoes-if-you-dare-put-them-in-this-here-feed-tube" juicers ).
  24. I had to make sure I wasn't hallucinating with all the black tree mushrooms I've been eating, so here's a reference re: She goes on to talk about the advantages of the domed lid re:recondensation, etc. The picture next to the quote looks identical to the aluminum steamer andiesenji linked to above. You have to get the 26", though, so you can steam a whole suckling pig.
  25. I love the bamboo ones something fierce. I use my 12" for my broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprout binges. It's perfectly steams whatever I put in it, even fish. I use it for cooking en papillote all the time too. No idea on cleaning it. I don't think I ever have, and yet, I live! The aluminum ones are recommended over the bamboo ones in every Asian book I own. I just haven't gotten around the buying one...yet.
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