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Suzanne F

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Everything posted by Suzanne F

  1. Friends who live near the Fens are searching for cold sesame noodles of the sort they came to love living in NYC. Can such a thing be found within easy reach of public transportation in Boston? I've been told it's a chimera.
  2. As a line cook who never expects to make it any "higher:" THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! It's clear in your books that you feel that way, but it's heart-warming to hear it said out loud in the presence of so many.
  3. Suzanne F

    Matzo Brei

    Nick -- when I do french toast that way, I always add some ground spices -- allspice (one of my favorites), cinnamon (a little common, though), nutmeg (ditto), cardamom, coriander -- not all together, of course. But my preference is to add some ground fenugreek seeds; adds an undefinable (by most people) je ne sais quois. Anyway, I like it. Steve P: sounds more like what they might make in Kingston or Port-of-Spain: Flatbread Fryup.
  4. Suzanne F

    Matzo Brei

    Am I the only one who sometimes makes it along the same lines as french toast (dry matzo soaked in egg/milk mixture)? Last Sunday I used 7 or 8 matzos, 5 eggs and a quart of milk -- which was way too much liquid. But I drained it before cooking -- only in butter, EVER. Breaking up during the frying. Very fluffy, which was okay -- but when I do the hot-water soak, drain, and then mix with custard, it comes out with lots of crispy bits, which I prefer. I'm a savory person -- just S & P; my husband is sweet (jam). (The leftover custard was cooked separately with crumbled feta and oregano, for a side of greek-ish scrambled eggs.) BTW, has anyone ever made and/or had the Wild Mushroom MB that Anne Rosenzweig used to do at Arcadia?
  5. Finally getting a chance to get a word in: "urban and contemporary" food? What's that, pigeon fricassee? pate de cucaracha en croute? mousse de mice? rat ragout? Oh, no, sorry -- those are all classic preparations.
  6. Best of luck to you! I'm the president of my co-op, and we have to approve everyone's renovation plans -- so I know some of the headaches although fortunately not first-hand. We just finished a 2-year battle with a shareholder who had his range hood duct going ... nowhere. Into a space between his apt and the one next door. OMG. But that does raise the issue: make sure you can easily get to the outside vent of the exhaust, since you'll have to clean it periodically (otherwise you'll have grease dripping down the wall of your house). BTW: did I miss something? What appliances are you getting?
  7. Oh, yeah! Saw that a couple of months ago. Fascinating stuff. Did you check out some of the other pictures? No, there are NO dirty pictures there! Go to the bottom of the page and click on Photo Gallery and you get a list of all the stuff they have, including Beer and Burgers & Fries.
  8. The "roast baby pig" at Great NY Noodletown (Bowery at Bayard) should fill the bill for you. It's one of the more expensive items ($6.25 over rice, as opposed to most "over rice" at $3.50 to $4.50) -- and worth every penny. Skin as sharp as glass; a thin layer of rich fat; sweet, soft, well-flavored meat.
  9. We've eaten several times at Craft and Craftbar, which now rank very high on our all-time great list. Never before at GT, until last night. Oh my, oh my. To get the negative (yes, only one) out of the way: the rolls were just okay, and would have been better warm. We started out with sherries at the bar. The (new) bartender was game -- climbing up to pull down all the bottles, since he was not yet familiar with the stock. I ended up getting an Alvear Amontillado -- very nutty and full-flavored; Paul got La Gitana Fino -- a little thin to me, but he likes it. At table, we received the same amuses-bouches that Jim Dixon mentioned in his 5/23 post: foie gras mousse with red onion relish, and marinated artichoke with white bean puree and red pepper tapenade. Tiny mouthfuls, but enough to taste the elements alone and in combination. Apps: the "marinated" (really, cured) hamachi, and the spice-roasted lobster. Christopher (yes, the same) described each dish in detail, and yes, we could taste everything that was there. The lobster was definitely worth the $10 supplement -- subtly spiced, sweet, tender. With apps we each had a glass of Pugliese Vineyard Brut Blanc de Blancs, 1998, North Fork. Alone, it was just pleasant; but with the food, it became a chameleon that took on the best flavor characteristics of the dishes. (We've been trying lots of LI wines over the last couple of years, and have been quite pleased especially with the whites.) Mains: at the bar, we had noticed they had Steele Zinfandel Mendocino 1998 -- and since we are big fans of Jed Steele, for once we picked the food to go with the wine: the rabbit, and Roast Lamb. Again, the individual elements were wonderful, and more so in combination. The two dishes were almost complete opposites: the rabbit itself had a very delicate flavor, while the accompanying olives, garlic, ginger and bacon (?) were very bold; on the other hand, the lamb and its jus had the strength, and the favas, borlottis, fingerlings, onions, and spinach were the mild counterpoint. And both brought out the best in the (really pretty modest) wine. Before dessert, we had a little "entremet" of panna cotta with strawberry jelly and strawberry sorbet. It proved to me that I was right to expect that I would fall in love with Claudia Fleming. Tart, tart smooth cream; jelly that tasted only of fruit, and sorbet that had just enough sugar to help the fruit overcome the cold. Dessert proper was the Lemon souffle tart with lemon verbena ice cream and lemon confit, and the Peach tatin with white peach sorbet, basil syrup, and black pepper cream. By then Paul was in love with CF, too (we've both loved Tom Collicchio since our first visit to Craft). And some Clear Creek Pomme Eau de vie with our coffee. Wait, wait -- then 2 petits fours: chocolate hazelnut ganache in a chocolate crust, and lime meringue tarts. Sigh. Service was, of course, impeccable -- even the new waiter-in-training did a great job. It was better than perfect: it was JUST RIGHT.
  10. Next time you get the souffle craving, try La Petite Auberge on Lexington Ave in Murray Hill. The food is okay, and a darn sight cheaper than La Cote Basque.
  11. Wow! I've got both volumes of Pei Mei, given to me by a Taiwanese b-school classmate. Probably my first "authentic" Chinese cookbook -- and I love it. Especially since there are pictures of every dish, so you know what it's supposed to look like. That is SO helpful; should be required in all cookbooks, IMO. I disagree on Peterson, though. He's exhausting without being exhaustive. I've got Fish, Vegetables, and Sauces, and am disappointed in all of them. He just doesn't answer the questions I have.
  12. Cocina para Dummies is pretty helpful for learning/practicing Spanish.
  13. the possibly-ex-CIA (Langley, not Hyde Park) protagonist of your novels? Or is he completely a figment of your over-active imagination? And what about Frances? Is she supposed to be Nancy?
  14. Suzanne F

    Dinner! 2002

    Highly Americanized banh mi with D'Artagnan Peppercorn Mousse, homemade radish/jicama/carrot kim chi, fresh mint, baloney (well, I said "highly Americanized), sliced cucumber, cooked salami (ditto), cilantro, smoked turkey, and a sauce of mayonnaise, sriracha, and fish sauce, all on toasted hollowed-out hero rolls. And salad of radicchio, endive, red Boston, and romaine, with a white balsamic/lemon thyme vinaigrette.
  15. Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni EVERYTHING by Elizabeth David (too numerous to mention) James Beard's American Cookery EVERYTHING by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid: Flatbreads and Flavors, Seductions of Rice, and Hot Sour Salty Sweet EVERYTHING by M.F.K. Fisher (also too numerous to mention) Home Cooking and More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables and Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider All of these define their subjects so thoroughly, carry so much information (culinary, sociogical, historical), and have so many usable recipes -- to me, that's what makes a classic. Escoffier is excellent historical reference, but dare I say his day has long since passed for usefulness (outside of certification exams).
  16. Bone marrow with a red wine sauce is a frequent app at Le Zinc; unfortunately I cannot say more, since I've never ordered it. But a friend who did (also in the food biz) loved it.
  17. Suzanne F

    Great fish

    No, I think Liza is saying this Alex guy is at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays and at the Tribeca Greenmarket (Greenwich Street, I presume?) on Saturdays and that he is totally unrelated to anything at Chelsea Market.
  18. Thank you all for the recipes. Campari is my third favorite aperitif (after Champagne and Manzanilla Sherry), but I've never done much with it but slurp it down. Must try the suggestions! BTW, why do so many people find it too bitter? I think it's a perfect bitter/sweet balance.
  19. My big fancy Bron sits in its box -- too much trouble to set up and clean. My little bitty Benriner is used often, for slicing and julienne that I don't want to take time with, knife-wise. My fingers are all intact. (You can be a wuss and use the guard, but it really isn't necessary. Eventually you learn.) Save your money, get the Benriner.
  20. Known about Opentable since 1999 (they were a presence at the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs conference), only just used them for the first time about a week ago. Very good experience. I hate hate hate telephoning. And I hate being stuck on hold. But I love being on the 'net. Most of the times I eat out, I just walk in; but when I need to make reservations, I will probably use them because it's so painless and easy. Fun, even.
  21. That raises a good "chicken or egg" question. Did a chef first play with it and ask NR if they could supply it, or did NR offer it and give chefs the opportunity to play? When I worked as a line cook, reps frequently came to show the chefs some new item to try. Some might have become trends, if enough chefs picked up on them. But on the other side, when a chef I worked for was looking for a new menu item, he was open to the suggestion of making up his own version of banh mi -- which I thought might be an emerging trend (from posts guess where?).Question: are you defining "trend" as a big-city phenomenon, or does it have to be something that gets all the way down to grass-roots. I'm thinking specifically of tall food, as mentioned earlier. It seems to be pretty much passe in the top places (with a few exceptions) -- but what about that book/kit Stacks that came out a year or 2 ago, and is still available? Is there a life-cycle to trends?
  22. I had to laugh at that article. Made me think of when Eatzi's opened at Macy's, or J. Bildner (remember them, from Boston?). They are going to teach us what a sandwich should be? Please! Although reading the preceding posts, I can see that they'd be successful in areas that are desperate. But still, the attitude that came across really turned me off.
  23. My current favorite to make is Iced Almond Milk, adapted from the recipe on a tetrapak of Italian almond milk: 1 liter almond milk 200 grams granulated sugar that's all that was in the original grated zest of 1/4 lemon small splash of almond extract smaller splash of pure vanilla extract larger splash of orange flower water Stir all until sugar dissolves. Process in ice cream machine until frozen. Let ripen in freezer. (If you don't use it all at once, melt and respin before serving again.) When I was a pastry chef, I had to make Sour Cream I.C.. Pretty good. PM me if you want the recipe (it's for a huge amount, but I can cut it down).
  24. Gastronomica is almost 100% academic -- and I love it for that: none of this "25 salsas to brighten your grilled Perdue chicken." There is so much more thought that should go into food and its production, and G. deals with that. BTW, members of IACP get it for free. Food Arts and Chef are perhaps the best and least of "professional" rags. FA is good for research, e.g., where was Jean-Georges Vongerichten's molten chocolate cake recipe first published? plus of course Elizabeth Schneider's articles. Chef occasionally has a good article on ingredients, and tells you what is considered "cutting edge" in the REAL America. Fine Cooking is the "Joy of Cooking" of magazines: excellent basic information on categories of ingredients, home smallwares, kitchen design, etc. For the semi-advanced home cook, and the professional who has no time to do research on oils, vinegars, olives, etc. Cuisine at Home (formerly just Cuisine) is for total beginners. Even Women's World has more interesting recipes. Gourmet is food porn. So is Saveur, but at least it's got some history and sociology. To a lesser degree, so are Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. Those 2 are on a par with that Martha lady: you too can cook gourmets ... I mean, be a gourmet cook. Personally, I think Australian Vogue Entertaining + Travel is one of the best. Well, now that I've probably ticked off a lot of folks here, let me say HI, I'M NEW. I'm a quasi refugee from another "almost but not quite totally unlike" board.
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