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Everything posted by Grub

  1. Awesome... This is great -- spread the word, and get some more vindaloo out there. I thought the picture looked really good -- only maybe a little dry. In fact, it looks a lot like one of my own attempts. When I did the "bhuna" process where you cook it until the liquid is evaporated, and then dry stir-fry it -- the last step, I was supposed to add enough water until it covered everything (and let a lot of it evaporate, but not as much as in the previous processes -- you let it thicken, so it becomes the gravy in the stew, yeah?)... But I messed it up and didn't add enough water, so it was really dry. On my initial attempt, I somehow totally lucked out and totally nailed it -- on my consecutive attempts, I was wildly over-confident, careless and made various mistakes. All things are relative, and I'm no master chef, but I would say that this recipe isn't a beginner's recipe, you know? It requires attention to detail.
  2. I don't think there's anything patronizing about this at all. Or perhaps, if there is -- long live it. If you can't express an unfavorable opinion of an establishment, merely because it might insult those who like it -- well, then there's really no point in having a forum in which to debate these things at all, is there? Last few times I came through England, I arranged to go out for curries with some old college friends, but when I asked what our destination was the last time, I was told "The Stepping Stone..." Sounded like a damn strange name for a curry house, said I... It wasn't, said they; English, it was. So I naturally said a number of unpleasant things about English cooking (my experience of it was limited to a student hall in Manchester) as well as the lack of pleasant Indian food in the US. But we went there anyway, and it was excellent. It is pretty damn uplifting, that an entire nation would stand up and take pride in its cousine.
  3. Try The Lord Edward Pub. Their sole is fantastic. It's a three-floor pub (pub on ground floor, informal dining on 1st, and formal dining on 2nd floor). I ate there four times, and forced myself to order a different sole dish each time, which was incredibly hard to do, since the last I tried was so damn fantastic. But it was worth it -- every single one was amazing. It wasn't a cheap place, but an amazing bang for my buck, certainly.
  4. Grub


    That is a very good way -- a sensible and reasonable way -- to view that, uh dictum. He already "confessed" that his maxim of "no uni-tasker but the fire extinguisher" just might have been incorrect, so I think -- no biggie.
  5. The stress is getting to them -- you can tell who's got character, and who doesn't. Mia -- gimme a break... The judges explicitly asked Cliff who he thought should go home, and he gave them a straight answer -- and a perfectly valid one too: pissing, moaning and having a shitty attitude can ruin any work environment. She already said she was tired and homesick, and then when she lost it in front of the judges, she probably realized she'd burned any chances of success, and tried to make a glorious exit by offering to leave, to save Elia... If that had been it, I would have been torn between admiring her, and feeling a tad cynical about it all. But with her "Woe is me, I am the only person in my family that achieved anything, we were homeless and I sold crack so poor pity me"-spiel at the end, I'm coming down on the cynical side... And what the hell kinda competition IS this? Aren't the judges the ones who are supposed to decide who stays or goes? Not the competitors, damnit. If I'd been in charge, I'd accept Mia's resignation, and then announced the loser -- and then send that one home too. If Bravo had produced Spike/UFC's Ultimate Fighter show, you'd have em wrestling in those inflatable sumo outfits, or poking each others with nerf bats or something -- and if someone lost and had to leave, another fighter would offer to leave in his stead. It really wouldn't be very good at all.
  6. Christ, the Rusholme restaurants can't be all THAT bad. I mean, I'm sure there might be other areas that are better -- or worse -- but to dismiss the entire region isn't reasonable.
  7. Where does The Cliff House fit into this? Just a tourist trap?
  8. In my experience (if I exclude my "foodie" friends) women are more appreciative of good food and good service -- as well as being more critical of it. With "foodies," I find no difference between genders. The whole salad vs. steak business is (in my opinion) just entirely incidental, and a result of the fact that women have tended to be more concerned about their figure than men. To attribute any male or female aspects to such meals is just a -- you know, logical fallacy; correlation/causation thingie. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc bicycle dynamo, as them Latinos say.
  9. Yeah, threatening another contestant with violence, that's totally out of line. Good riddance indeed. I didn't like this challenge at all. From my sofa, it seemed like it might be a ton of fun -- beach, open fire, sand, fun, the smell of the see. Provided I'd know about it beforehand, of course... But as a challenge for a "Top Chef," this made even less sense than the vending machine deal -- at least they had a freakin' kitchen in that one. I mean they were sitting on their knees in sand, prepping on top of coolers, while seagulls came swooping in, stealing stuff. Then, the judges complained about the eggs being overdone. Well, how much experience can these people possibly have with cooking over a goddamn fire pit?! It's like putting a Formula-1 driver in a tricycle race -- and then complain about how slow they're going. I did enjoy seeing Michael's goofy attitude finally pay off with the surfers, though. Funny. Gail Simmons seemed to defend the nature of the challenge several times, and it made me wonder about who desides these challenges. It would make sense that the host/judges would have some input in this matter -- maybe she came up with this one, and felt defensive? In one shot, she was REALLY griding her teeth; jaw muscles bulging in and out, lips churning. If the contestants had been told about the nature of the challenge beforehand, I think it would have been a fun challenge -- I still don't think it would be a good way to compete about who's the Top Chef, but at least it would have been fun to watch. As it stood, that challenge sucked.
  10. Those are very good points, but I can think of a couple of things that might affect those conclusions. For one, apart from the fact that a home kitchen generally provides better quality, more nutritional, and cheaper food than junkfood, it is also operated by someone who genuinely CARES about the people who will eat the food. That's a big one -- would you rather eat a meal prepared by someone you know, who hopes to impress you, maybe earn a compliment or two, and who would be utterly devestated if you fell ill from their cooking? Or would you prefer it prepared by an unmotivated teenager? Easy. Also, while a home kitchen might not pass the sanitary standards designed to keep fast-food workers on their toes, it serves only a few meals a day -- less chances of any slip-ups. I guess my homemade/not-homemade ratio is somewhere around 50/50 at this point. I've been food poisoned four times, and none of those were from home cooking. None were from fast-food, mind you (Twice at crummy little "We're the only game in town"-restaurants, once from a sandwich stand, and once from a student's hall cafeteria). That being said, I don't think e-coli is a good argument against junkfood. Ie., there are better arguments.
  11. I'm no expert, but the little I've seen of old-fashioned, rural chickens, they behave as you describe -- even in cold climates. The "free range" label might be a perfectly sensible, and honest label -- but only when applied to such small-time operations. When it comes to the big factories, it really is a joke -- what Nathan describes is accurate: The chickens are hatched inside (of course), and spend their first few weeks inside. Then if a little door is opened, allowing the chickens to go outside -- voila, they're free-range all of a sudden. If they go outside, or stay inside, they're free range. And of course they don't go outside. I mean, watch the Animal Planet and you see em trying to lure tiger cubs outside to go outside and explore -- that's scary stuff, going outside when you've spent your entire existence inside. And chickens are even less adventerous than tigers.
  12. Grub

    Goose Liver

    I'm a little curious about these responses... Someone on this board posted a question about how to prepare foie gras, since he had a number of ducks/geese and wanted to utilize the liver. The guy said there was no need to force feed them, since they pretty much force fed themselves at that time of the year. In that thread, no one brought up the point you've all brought up here -- that non-force fed foi will be so different from "traditional" foi. What gives?
  13. Cheap and fast is what Taco Bell and every other fast food restaurant has been doing all along, and it's been working pretty good for them so far -- it'd take a helluva lot more than this recent outbreak to make them rethink their entire business model... I mean, Jack-in-the-Box killed a bunch of people, and they're cruising along just the same. I'm sympathetic towards those who eat that stuff due to financial, and time restraints (a close friend of mine happens pretty much to be the guy Carl's Jr talked about in their advertisements: "Without us, some people would starve) -- but hey, you get what you pay for. Reminds me of one of Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons... Two shops -- one small, the other huge. The small one said "High quality stuff for the discerning customer" and the other, "Cheap junk for the masses" (or words to that effect). The little shop is empty, whereas there's a huge crowd of idiotic-looking Far Side-characters milling around in front of the big store, desperately trying to get inside...
  14. Some valid points, and some not-so valid ones... This seems to me to just be a rant, you know? I like a good rant. There's nothing quite like it -- from John Cleese's parodical ravings to the chunks of honest truths that Lewis Black delivers -- it's a great form of expression. There's nothing like a good rant. But this is just a bad one.
  15. Oh, so that thing yesterday, where Mia teamed up with Betty was a rerun? I was perplexed by Mia doing that -- we obviously don't see everything that goes on, but that seemed like a poorly written movie script, where characters do things for no sensible reason or motivation. Or people doing bad things, but others not reacting to it... This is something that only dawned on me this morning, after I put it into perspective with the idiot nightmare I had last night: I dreamt I was on Top Chef... Now, this wasn't just yer run-of-the-mill, showing up to give a speech without yer pants nightmare. I can give speeches just fine, but put me in one of them elimination challenges, and I'd be running away like Richard Simmons being chased by Letterman and the extinguisher. Oh, and I did have pants -- except they kept falling off, so I got to experience the no-pants thing repeatedly. That's a clever and evil twist to a classic nightmare, that. So I found myself in the kitchen, but couldn't t even remember what I was supposed to be cooking. Big panic. Someone tells me the trash can is overflowing, seemingly expecting me to take it out -- but I was the one who did it the last time, so my anxiety turns to anger and I grab the trash can and just HEAVE it across the room and out a big, oldfashioned, multi-paned window. There's a huge crash, broken glass, wood splinters and trash all over the place, and I go "Well, that's that sorted!" but everyone's looking at me with these moon-faced expression of surprise. I'm thinking well at least it'll draw attention from the fact that I'm not cooking anything -- but then my pants fell down again... All while this is going on, I'm thinking in the back of my head, "Why the hell aren't they throwing me off the show? What's wrong with these people?" Something finally dawned on me. I think I know the reason -- I musta won the immunity challenge. I mean hell, if you win the immunity challenge, that's what you should do -- take proper advantage of it. How many times are you gonna get immunity in your life, uh? I'd draw a smiley face on a plate with ketchup, but use an old dog turd for the mouth, and tell them it's an old, traditional Belgian delicassy.
  16. Great stuff, only thing I can think of to suggest is, checking out Indian, Chinese -- you know, 'ethnic' stores. Even if you don't eat that type of food, the prices are a fraction of what you pay in supermarkets -- not just for exotic spices and such, but plain everyday items such as rice.
  17. Yeah, totally, but I don't think that was Bravo's doing per se. He's muted himself. I caught a No Reservation episode (leftover material, mostly) where he expressed the opinion that he didn't like "non-religious vegetarianism." I mean, in my opinion, it seems the best vegetarian food tends to emerge from religious cultures -- like Indian food, rather than secular cultures -- but damn, what a horrible cop-out! It's like -- oh hell, I know this isn't gonna be a good analogy but -- like Doctor Phil moving to Utah and saying he doesn't approve of non-religious polygamy.
  18. Ooh, nice burn. Nasty. Hehehe.
  19. Sorry, I don't have any suggestions... But I've got some curried butternut & cauliflower soup, and I'd love to be able to turn that into something interesting -- like a souffle (never made one before), or well, anything else. So any suggestions, I might follow it too.
  20. Grub

    Try this, I dare you

    I'm gonna have to break out my spam haiku. And you don't want that.
  21. Hey, what about øllebrød? I was watching Babette's Feast the other day, and thankfully this stuff wasn't part of Babette's repertoire, but it sounded a bit like what you describe...
  22. Yay! Thought I'd already answered that one; I must have been having a case of déjà freakin' vu or something, when I said it the first time. What?
  23. Tejon, those look really good -- they remind me of something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Is there some other kinda pastry that is made, in that rolled-up crescent shape? Maybe more browned on the surface, and possibly fluffier? It really looks good, although I have this knee-jerk reaction that it should be darker, and more browned on the surface -- it must have been something I saw somewhere.
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