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Ciao Ling

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  1. The wife and I recently ventured out to a new restaurant in town, Nikko, which opened earlier this month. I thought I would post some iPhone photos (apologize in advance for the quality) as I think it worthy of repeat business even at this early juncture. It is part eclectic sushi and part new American food restaurant with a cocktail and wine bar vibe. It is located on the first floor of the renovated residential Capron Lofts. It also shares the same block as Sully's pub which is known for their wood-fired pizza and wings. The co-owner owns Murphy's Law irish pub on East Avenue and the chef was apparently recently the sous chef at Warfield's High Point in Victor, NY. A recent notice was posted in the Rochester City Newspaper Chow Hound column. We went early on a Saturday so we would not have to potentially deal with any early hiccups of the kitchen or staff if stressed by a full restaurant. In addition to sushi, the menu has small and large plates which can be shared. In brief, the food and drinks were quite enjoyable as was the service and atmosphere. In brief, it reminded the wife of one of our regular haunts, Good Luck (except for the sushi bar, they go for a cocktail and wine bar theme and they have their version of a burger). I guess Good Luck should be flattered. Bar Open kitchen and sushi bar Bar Menu Aviation cocktail Grilled Octopus with Marcona Almond & Green Olive Pesto Green Gnocchi in White Bolognese sauce Salad of Arugula & Black Kale, Marinated Artichokes & Sunchokes, Pecorino Tartufo Cheese, Prosciutto, Hazelnuts, and Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette "Nikkospice" Roll: Spiced infused Tuna with Spicy Edamame Nikko Burger: House ground blend, Maytag blue and gruyere cheese, smoky onion jam, roasted garlic aioli, and pommes frites Profiterole with Peanut Butter Gelato, Chocolate Sauce, and fresh rasberries
  2. First attempt at No-Knead Ciabatta from Lahey's My Bread. I like a darker crust and it caramelized well. Great textured crust and open crumb. I like it a lot and it really is not much fuss. I didn't use Lahey's technique of an inverted clay cover over a baking stone. Similar to steam generation for other breads I make, I adopted rolled up kitchen towels in loaf pans with boiling water. Putting these high hydration loaves on parchment also really prevents sticking with the loading and removal.
  3. Glad to see others trying Tartine bread with great success (Kerry and Anna). This weekend, I tried Chad Robertson's baguettes. The crumb wasn't very airy/holey which could have been for two reasons, I added an overnight refrigerator retard for the bulk fermentation to his recipe as again I didn't time things well with my schedule. I also didn't pay attention to the recipe and added the salt to the dough at an early stage and not after the dough was already rising in the bulk fermentation. The flavor was great and the caramelization of the crust was also good. Will try it again. I am still a fan of Sam Fromartz's award winning baguette recipe.
  4. The world village of pizza making experts over at the forums of Pizzamaking.com are constantly tweaking their formulas. One poster in Germany, Villa Roma, seems to have perfected a 100% whole grain recipe. His keys are 1) very high hydration, 2) small amount of leaven/yeast with long room temperature fermentation times, 3) very high temperature oven (in his case 650 degrees which is not achievable with many home ovens). The thread with great pics is here.
  5. I like to see that this thread stays active. I haven't posted for a while as my bread baking goes through cycles. Even though I am not always baking bread, I am certainly always eating bread. I was stimulated to start baking again as I just made a new batch of sourdough starter that was free when I bought some products from The New York Bakers (which I have found to be a good resource for mail-order flours) and I was reading about other people's efforts with recipes from the bread book from Tartine Bakery. I made a basic country loaf. I followed the baker's percentages, but not the timing as I did put in a retard in the refrigerator so it would work with my schedule. I also used the cast iron Le Creuset pot for the bake like Jim Lahey's no knead. It's a high hydration dough and the crumb is not uniform, but for a first effort with this recipe, I liked it a lot. Great texture and taste.
  6. I am originally from NYC, but now live in Upstate NY where it is now the beginning of apple season, a time for all things apple, including making apple pies. I have made all sorts of apple pies, but none have come close to an apple pie I recall from my youth. My parents used to occasionally take me to Jim McMullen, a popular Upper East Side watering hole on Third Avenue, famous for its Chicken Pot Pie and Apple Pie. I recall the apple pie as a towering stack of apple slices, more apple than crust, amply infused with cinnamon, and having a "drier" texture than any recipe that I have tasted or made. Maybe I am just trying to relive a fond memory of youth, but I have tried in vain to find a recipe for this pie or something similar. Contrary to my fond memory of the pie, a Google search only turned up an unflattering description of the pie in a New York Magazine restaurant review by critic, Seymour Britchky, no fan of Jim McMullen, which described the apple pie thusly: "McMullen's apple pie is famous for its four-inch height at the center, and for innards so constructed, of layer upon layer of thick apple slices, that the cross section revealed where the pie is sliced looks like a cleverly constructed wall of stones. Unfortunately, the tartness of the crisp fruit is obscured by excesses of sugar and cinnamon- and the top crust of the pie- really a browned custard — simply adds to the vapidity."
  7. City Newspaper's restaurant review of Warfield's High Point.
  8. Baguettes using the Phllippe Gosselin Pain a l'Ancienne recipe as interpreted by Reinhart which is posted on The Fresh Loaf. My slashes were not very good, so the grigne in some actually formed at the seam line from the baguette forming. The overnight autolyse in the refrigerator really increases the flavor. I have never done an autolyse that long.
  9. Never had one before so could not compare. I don't even know what a ripe or good one is. The one I bought had a outer skin that was rock hard. I had to use a hammer to crack it open after I scored it. The flesh was incredibly juicy. The closest taste that I can think of was a lichee but not really. My wife looked at the white flesh and was turned off by the appearance, but after a taste, she smiled. I am certain the one I ate was not representative of the best that a locally grown mangosteen can be, but again having never had any, me like.
  10. I have always been waiting for the time fresh mangosteens would get into the continental US as I have read so much about the taste of this fruit so prized when fresh. I am not near enough to a Chinatown to get the smuggled in ones. To my amazement, there it was at my local grocery store (I am blessed with Wegmans). It is an irradiated fruit from Thailand. I googled and found out that the US allowed this in 2008. It was expensive, $2.99 each, but after years of waiting, I wanted to sample one. Delicious but... not enough! Hopefully more mangosteen demand will mean more channels into the US and lower prices.
  11. Have not been for a while to Max at Eastman Place. Tony Gullace was not in the kitchen but his staff did an incredible job from app to dessert. For me, steak tartare, roasted beet salad, and then superb lamb chops, followed by a rhubarb crisp. Outstanding service. In my opinion, one of the best and may hold the crown for fine dining in Rochester.
  12. Have not signed in for a while. I took iphone quality pics of our meal. Our meal: Amuse Bouche/ Chef starter: Parmigiano tuile and Fava bean mousse accented with crispy guanciale Apps: Heirloom Tomato Soup. Lobster salad, avocado, and yellow gazpacho sorbet Crispy Pork Belly. Doubled egg (a runny soft boiled egg that has a light fried coating), English pea, Mustard jus Salads: Beets etc. Arugula, Frisee, Almond cristed goat cheese, Orange Confit, Port Vinaigrette Green Leaf-Red Leaf. Bacon sheets, Stilton, Cucumber Tomato Relish, Sherry & Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette Entrees: Grouper Persillade. Tempura Squash Blossom, Summer Vegetables, Calamari, Olive Wine Sauce Butter Poached Lobster. Littleneck Clams, Lobster Agnolotti, Braised Cipollini, Sweet Pea Fumet Desserts: Meyer Lemon Tart. Fresh Lichee Sorbet Selection of NY State Cheeses. Triple Aged Mcadam, Cayuga Blue, Aged Goat Cheese, Strawberry compote. Overall, a nice evening. There were some execution misses for me. The amuse bouche texturally and flavor profile did not work for me. The pork belly meat was done nicely, but the skin was not crisp. That said, I think it is a great addition that we need for a quiet fine dining eperience, especially nice if you live on the east side of town. They do need to bulk up their wine list. This seems odd as they are located in the Constellation Wines headquarters and have the contract with the Constellation Wines dining room. Wife and my regular haunt remains Good Luck. We like (some don't) the boisterous environment, good selection of wines and great cocktails, and sharing of seasonal foods.
  13. Give it to Gordon for pointing out the opening of another fine dining establishment in the Rochester vicinity. On the Eastside in Victor, NY, opposite the large Eastview shopping mall is Warfield's, a new sister establishment to Warfield's in Clifton Springs. The soft opening was 3 weeks ago and apparently formal advertising will begin after July 4th. The chef Brent Williams's resume apparently includes Max at Eastman Place and the Monroe Country Club. All in all, my wife and I had a nice evening. I will let Gordons's review describe the type of food in more detail. His mini review is on his blog here.
  14. Sam: Thanks so much. There is nothing like a response from the poster of the recipe. Great blog and baguettes!
  15. Thanks! I guess 70% hydration might be optimal for a really open crumb and a grigne crust explosion.
  16. For our kneady experts: does higher hydration reduce "grigne"? How do you achieve great "grigne"? I recently made a sourdough spelt flax seed bread from a recipe posted by Sam Fromartz on his blog Chews Wise. I didn't have straight flax seed available alone but did have it mixed in with Bob's Red Mill 5 grain rolled cereal. I used that in the soaker and because of the other rolled grains, it clearly absorbs more water and the hydration of my final dough was higher than Sam Fromartz's dough. I also ran out of bread flour so I mixed what I had left with high gluten flour. In the end, my loaves came out a lot flatter than Sam's, most likely from the higher hydration. The most noticeable thing was my lack of good grigne for my batard. Slashing technique, I tried to slash very parallel and not to deep so that I would get a lip, but no such luck.
  17. I came across a great blog by Steve B, Breadcetera. He gave a recipe from Wavehill Breads in Wilton, CT. My sister lives there and when I visit, I get their bread because it is so good, so I gave the recipe for Cherry Pecan Bread a go, although since I didn't have dried cherries, I substituted raisins and craisins. I liked it a lot as a fuit and nut bread that is not sweet. Mine aren't as pretty as Steve B's, but I have to work at shaping. I have never made a fendu shape which he shows in a short video.
  18. Pizza today, not quite "bread' but definitely something kneaded. The weather was good enough this weekend to make a fire in our backyard pizza oven. Made sourdough pizza dough from Reinhart's American Pie, but did not do the overnight retard but let it rise at room temperature so I could make some pies for dinner. Pizza topping was all about what was available in the fridge. For my kids, it was standard pepperoni pizza. Another pie was white truffle oil, goat cheese, parmigiano reggiano, fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, with a grinding of smoked salt, pepper and a little parsley. The last pie shows you how you can put anything on a pizza, leftover roast chicken salad made with apples and sliced almonds, a couple of grape tomatoes and the rest of the goat cheese. It was pretty good.
  19. Another recipe from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Breads, a polenta bread from Della Fattoria. It has cooked polenta mixed in (you can see some if you look carefully in the crumb pic) and uncooked polenta on top which gives it a crunch. My attempt at a "swirl" slash, rotating the boule on parchment was a new one for me. I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I baked it during the week and I didn't it plan it right for my work schedule. I threw in an overnight retard in the refrigerator. It still came out quite good and is a great toasting bread.
  20. MikeJ: Now that is what I would call garlic bread!
  21. Back to artisan bread this weekend. From Dan Leader's Local Breads, I made for the first time, Pane Casareccio di Genzano, a country bread from the Italian town of Genzano. It starts with a biga naturale using a firm sourdough starter. The dough is composed of high gluten flour and is quite wet and gloppy. Your really need a mold, in my case a round banneton I dusted liberally with flour and unprocessed wheat bran. I then did a quick flip onto parchment. The high strength flour (I used KA Sir Lancelot flour with a protein content of about 14%) and high hydration makes for a crisp chewy crust and beautiful oven spring and crumb. It is quite a big dark crusted loaf and according to Leader is a bread that keeps well for several days. This despite the fact that it has no oils, just preferment, some instant yeast, water, flour, and salt.
  22. This week's what do you knead: Bagels. I used Peter Reinhart's BBA recipe. Unfortunately I did not have high gluten flour which is supposedly key to a NYC bagel. I added a teaspooon of vital wheat gluten per pound of bread flour. The dough is very dry and with the VWG fortified bread flour, it was a workout for my Kitchenaid K5SS motor which became quite warm. It was a new experience for me, shaping the bagels and then retarding overnight in the fridge. A quick dip in boiling water with malt and baking soda and then a quick bake. I made them plain (my kids again are not into sesame or poppy seeds). They were the best still slightly warm from the oven, crisp yet chewy on the outside but soft on th inside. The next day, they were also great, split and toasted with butter- yum. A baker's dozen lasted 3 days in my house.
  23. I was thumbing last week through the bread section of Molly O'Neill's New York cookbook (now out of print) and it mentioned Orwasher's Bakery in the Yorkville section of Manhattan. She then has a recipe for "Yorkville Raisin Pumpernickel Bread". I vaguely remembered Orwasher's bread when I was growing up in New York. She didn't attribute this recipe to anyone as she does all her recipes so I assumed it was some version of Orwasher's. You have to make a Rye starter/sponge 3 days in advance with commercial yeast, letting it ferment at room temperature for a day and then retard in the fridge for 2 more. The amazing thing is that this bread is almost all Rye flour (4 cups for the starter and 3.5 cups for the dough) with only 0.5 cup of whole wheat flour. It also calls for cornmeal and for two mashed potatoes (no volume or weight indicated for the potatoes). This recipe makes one sticky and stiff dough. The end result is shown below. It is substantial, by that I mean dense and moist, but with excellent flavor and is good with butter or cheese. I don't recall Orwasher's to be quite like this. That bread also was more loaded with raisins. This recipe only called for 1 cup. Googling for Orwasher's RP bread recipe, I only came up with Joe Ortiz's version from The Village Baker which is supposed to be a takeoff of Orwasher's recipe. In future if I make RP bread again I might try that one and also probably use a more finely milled Rye flour to lighten it up. All they had in the market nearby was Hodgson Mill Rye flour which has more coarse rye meal in it.
  24. I was quite entertained by a local website called Rochester Food Net about all things food around Rochester by Adam Wilcox formerly of City newspaper and now a contributor to Rochester Magazine. It's actually a collection of blogs. He has also enlisted the contributions of locally well known radio host, Michael Warren Thomas, or as he calls him, "The Man with Three First Names" and our own GordonCooks. Check it out for insights beyond the conventional media.
  25. I have a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker after reading about pressure cookers some time ago in the NY Times. No chance for explosions. I also believe that Cooks Illustrated tested some and the Fagor brand took #1. As mentioned, PC are great with all manner of beans and I also second its use for whole grain "risottos" such as barley. I also have found that there is no better tool than this if you are making stewed shredded chicken or beef dishes, such as Ropa Vieja. As it is almost St Patrick's day, I recently put a store bought corned beef brisket in it, cooked it on high pressure for only an hour, and it came out fork tender, not dry, and full of flavor. Mark Bittman wrote of his new toy on his blog here.Bittman also mentions Lorna Sass who has a good cookbook devoted to pressure cooking.
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