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Everything posted by purplechick

  1. Sorry, I should have been more clear. MaxH wrote above: That's what I was referring to.
  2. Well done. It's not the Internet that is the problem, it's how we use it. You used Google Books to find information in a book, the same way that anyone could look up the Pope quote in Barlett's online. Good research skills are what is needed, whether you use them in a library or online.
  3. I would like to contribute "punnet," which is the basket-like container you buy berries in. I think it's a British term, I learned it from my Aussie husband. Interestingly, he also uses it for half-gallon containers (or whatever the metric size would be, 2000 ml?) of ice cream.
  4. purplechick

    Duck hearts

    You could make pâté. I recently came into some pork liver and hearts so I made the Grosse Cochonaille in Madeleine Kamman's When French Women Cook. It turned out really well. One tip: be sure to freeze your meat grinder for an hour before using and catch the ground meat in a bowl that is nested in another bowl full of ice. Keep every thing as cold as possible so the fat doesn't separate out. I would guess that there are appropriate ducky pâté recipes in Ruhlman's Charcuterie as well.
  5. I live in a small NYC apartment with a small sink. So I rinse mine off in the bathtub, shake off as much water as possible and hang it over the shower rod to dry. I store it rolled around my rolling pin and it hasn't seemed to cause any problems.
  6. No. I agree completely. I find his restaurant reviews overwrought. Interestingly, I quite enjoy his other food writing. For example, this piece on the "Chinese Box" and this one on bar food. They seem a lot more balanced and they make me hungry which is always a good sign in food writing. I think maybe he is just trying too hard in his first couple of official restaurant reviews. Here's hoping he calms down a bit and gets back to his old style.
  7. I completely agree about The Cook's Companion, my husband is Australian and my Mother-in-law gave it to us for Christmas one year. The fact that it's arranged by ingredient makes it lots of fun to just leaf through for ideas. I've also enjoyed some of the Marie Claire cookbooks. Here's a link with some of the Marie Clare ones listed.
  8. Does anyone know a store that carries Harsch Fermentation Crocks in NYC? I've asked at Brooklyn Kitchen and they don't have them. I can order one online, but they are heavy and the shipping is a bit pricey. Here's an example if you don't know what they are. Thanks!
  9. Ah great, thanks! I love going there anyway. Saxleby Cheese, yum!
  10. I would like to buy some mature coconuts (with the hairy brown shells, not the young ones you see in Whole Foods). Does anyone have a suggestion as to where I might find them? I live in Brooklyn, so I'm guessing that a West Indian neighborhood like Flatbush might be a good place to look. If anyone has a specific store they can recommend that would be great. Thanks!
  11. I've looked through the various threads here on the best places to buy fish and I haven't seen any recommendations in Brooklyn. I've been very happy with the fish I've bought from the Blue Moon folks at the Grand Army Plaza green market but sometimes I don't want to have to wait until Saturday. Any thoughts? Thanks!
  12. The bouillabaisse at Le Bernardin. Ah, saffron, and perfect fish. Since some folks are listing others: The braised pork belly at Gramercy Tavern (I think Colicchio was still chef). I know it's kind of cliche now but at the time it was quite revelatory. Also at Gramercy Tavern: a fresh English pea soup type-thing that was amazing!
  13. I love the quiet bubbling of a rich sauce.
  14. Thanks Boris! Is this the right address for Schnattl? Lange Gasse 40
  15. Heh! The two places I remember most from our trip to Montreal a couple of years ago are Au Pied de Cochon and Kouign Aman. Just remember, the weather is very cold there this time of year so you'll need more calories Edited for typos.
  16. This is exactly what every restaurant should strive for no matter what type of service they aspire to. A person who has never been to a restaurant in their lives should feel as comfortable as a Foreign Minister who dines out most evenings and knows all the rituals. It is also the most difficult thing to pull off. I'm not a restaurant professional but I would imagine training staff to be truly observant and quick on their feet so as to be able to handle any situation is a real challenge. This whole discussion reminds me what Miss Manners (Judith Martin) says about etiquette. I'm paraphrasing but basically the idea is that manners exist in order to make everyone feel more comfortable. In particular, when you are the host (which in this case is the part played by the restaurant) it is your job to make your guests as comfortable as possible. That means that if a guest doesn't know the customs you do your best to help them along without drawing attention to them.
  17. I'm sorry to hear about your mother-in-law's experience. The dinner I wrote about above was about 4-5 years ago. Since then I've been back to Le Bernardin and had okay service experiences; none have been out and out *bad* but at least one was decidedly mediocre and none have lived up to that stellar anniversary dinner. ← Yes, striving for consistency is the most important goal and also being willing to correct things if they go wrong. I love your phrase, "write a great last chapter," that sums it up very well. However, even if a Danny Meyer restaurant hits all the right notes and you have the perfect evening, you won't necessarily leave feeling "like the King of Spain" as one poster put it above, because that is not their goal. As you mentioned in another post, it is a more casual level of American service. An interesting combination would be a Danny Meyer-like system in a restaurant that aspires to old-school French service like Le Bernardin. Can these two ideas be combined? I think Per Se is close, but still seems a little American, and I don't mean that as a bad thing, I think the service there is lovely and they are meeting their goals.
  18. I would say, that the best service should make you feel sophisticated even if you are not. They may be going into the kitchen and saying "Sacre bleu, he wants his steak well done with catsup on the side!" but they should never make you feel uncomfortable about it. On the other hand, asking for a Latour sprizter, well *some* things are beyond the pale!
  19. Le Bernardin and Per Se were the two I was going to post about! I also agree with Fat Guy that it is very complex. I think your satisfaction at a particular restaurant depends on what you were expecting. For example, I love Danny Meyer's service but it is not really fair to compare it to Le Bernardin and Per Se who are more in the very old style French vein. A quick story about Le Bernardin: My husband and I were there for our anniversary. When we were ordering dessert he was torn between two choices and asked a few questions of the waiter before deciding. As we were waiting for dessert to arrive, I pulled out a silly card I had gotten him for the occasion. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the waiter emerge from the kitchen with our desserts. He took one look at the table and turned right around again through the swinging doors. Once the card was opened, smiled about and put away, he came out with dessert and said, "Monsieur, is it your birthday?" We told him it was our anniversary and he congratulated us. Not 30 seconds later he appeared at the table presenting the dessert that my husband had decided against, with a candle in it, and saying "Happy Anniversary!" That, is good service.
  20. One thousand blessings be upon you, my friend. Will check soonest. Were they there? Looking for some myself. Unfortunately, upon checking it appeared to me that the sour oranges they had there were, indeed, sour oranges. ← Rats! That's where I was going to try. A quick google brings up this place which will ship you a dozen for $30. I have no idea if they are reputable....
  21. I would add Kouign Aman, it's a Breton Bakery (322 Mont-Royal E.) with sublime croissants and lots of other yummy pastries too. It's very small and you can see them working in the back -- boy do they put a lot of butter in there. Have a good trip. Edited for typos.
  22. I've often wondered the same thing Florida. Recently I read this article about a doctor who ate only organic foods for three years. He says that he feels healthier and is sick less often, etc. Who knows?
  23. purplechick

    Dinner! 2009

    Fresh green peppercorns silly! They are visually very striking aren't they? Used mostly in Thai cuisine, they give a fresh mild peppercorn heat. ← Duh, of course! I made something with capers in it last night, so I must have had them on my mind. I've only seen green peppercorns in jars (sometimes pickled). The fresh ones look beautiful. I'll have to look around and see if they are available here (in the Northeast US). Does anyone know?
  24. I completely agree. I am lucky enough to live very close to a wonderful Farmers' Market (it's actually closer than the supermarket!). Anyway, we buy everything we can there including most of our meat. The only time I go to the supermarket is for staples like oatmeal, flour, salt, etc. and some out of season things like lettuce in January and so forth. I don't think that many of the purveyors at the Farmers' Market are actually "certified" organic but you can talk with them about how they raise their animals, some even have photos of their farms on display. I would much rather buy from them than a giant impersonal operation, even if it is certified organic. This leads into a discussion of what organic "certification" means. I admit I haven't kept up on it, but I understand that at one point it was pretty complex. Are we still using the California certification or is there a Federal one yet? Does organic automatically mean free range? I don't think it does. For me, buying meat that is free range is as important (if not more so) than buying organic.
  25. We recently got a convection oven. It's a Bosch gas oven. The marketing material calls it "true european convection" which evidently involves a third heating element in addition to the fan. In any case, we love it! Roast fowl in particular come out really well; wonderfully brown and crispy. I used convection mode for my Christmas cookies and they actually seemed to take longer than expected to bake. I'm not sure why...
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