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Everything posted by afn33282

  1. Their Jasmine rice is legit. My favoite olive oil is the "Premium Extra Virgin" - the big 1L with the quickpour spout. Pretty sure the "Pound Plus" (500mg) bars are Callabaut, and $5. The carrot juice is good.
  2. gulfporter, mid-afternoon is the most civilized time of day for something sweet, if you ask me. With coffee. But a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast post-Thanksgiving week never hurt anyone. I know what you mean about luscious desserts, too. That small, intense portion of something can satisfy as deeply and soundly as a big bowl of something else. But I'm hoping to work out a complimentary vector to the richer style of dessert. For example, gelato has less sugar than American ice cream, and less fat. But I have to say, for me, that it delivers just as much. And I admit this is somewhat a matter of preference. For example, I like Philadelphia-style ice cream (eggless, like Breyer's) to custard-based ice cream. Also, fairly said, it can be considered a matter of exploring a style that can exist happily alongside a richer style. But really, my motivation is that I balk at the idea of self-control. I'm trying to find a loophole here, shhhh! CatPoet, you're really evoking the old-world aesthetic I'm going for. Smaller cookies, yes! I think you're hitting the same note that gulfporter was referring to - when something is done well, it only takes a little bit to satisfy. Where did you buy your tins? I do, however, stand in defense of eating one's fill. Sometimes I want to put down two pounds of apples. Now to figure out how to do that in a pie, five days a week.
  3. Smithy, Thanks for the moral support and commiseration. It's good to have co-recognition on this. By avoiding anything with the word "lite" . My parents were no fools. They both taught me how to eat, in different ways. And my grandmother, too. Also it was their worldliness that let me to old-school cuisines in the first place. I might as well tack on that I'm also interested in economy of method. Here is a one-step recipe for creme patisserie.And here is a tart dough recipe starting with melted butter in boiling water (per Mme. Paule Caillat, via David Lebovitz, which I discovered on eGullet here). Smithy, thanks again. Do you have any recipes or general ideas you recommend?
  4. As an example: I just made my first apple pie. Didn't add sugar to the apples, and was delighted to find out that they came out quite sweet enough (Galas), and the fragrance was nectar-ish and powerful, unmitigated by the possible cloying effects of sugar. But the crust had 6 oz of butter. It didn't help or hurt that I ate half the pie for breakfast (the other half to the roomies). Those who remember MFK Fisher's essay on gorging will sympathize. But I can't eat nearly half a pound of butter everytime I get a hankering for apples. I was deeply inspired by Franci's contributions here to LindaK's olive oil pastry thread. If you look at the pictures, the pastry is beautiful. And I can certainly eat a Tb of oil any time. I think another word I could have included in the title of this thread is "naturalism", a la anyone's heroes, Elizabeth David and Richard Olney. note: I didn't peel the apples either. It was the right move.
  5. I'm inspired by the idea of desserts with *just enough* sugar and fat to get the job done. * I feel like in my cultural background, desserts are a "special occasion" thing, or a "guilty pleasure". I'm inspired by old-world cuisines where sweets seem to fit, to me, more holistically into the *gestalt* of everyday living. * aesthetic reasons. I feel that when one uses *just enough* sugar, and *just enough* fat, the dessert acquires an elegance of balance and simplicity, and also, lets other ingredients (milk in a custard for example) shine. * habit reasons. I'm just starting to learn pastry. I want to practice and eat sweets every day! And I think how well-balanced a recipe is is more important to how happy my body is, rather than how much fat and sugar is in a serving. *Proportions*, rather than *amounts*. I suspect I could eat a whole lemon meringue pie daily if the recipe was dialed in right. I shudder at and am immediately suspicious of recipes with the word "Healthy" in the title. I grew up eating chicken-fried steak like a good country boy, in the 80s, when everything was "lite" and we were all scared of fat. I hope I've conveyed, rather, the sense of what I'm angling towards. Anyone have advice, tips, recipes, or experiences along these lines? Encouraging remarks welcome, natch.
  6. LindaK thanks for this thread! Franci, thanks for your amazing descriptions and recipes. Your torta lugure and fogliata are beautiful, and I look forward to trying them. I want to get good at pasta matta because I'd like to eat fruit pies/crostata/galettes on a regular basis, but 1/4 - 1/2 lb. of butter per serving is too much for me for an everyday thing (nevermind my budget!). Franci demonstrated too how elegant a dough this can be. I was first inspired by oil pastry years ago in a Saveur piece on traditional Hungarian strudel dough (can't find it, sorry, but the pictures showed the home cooks [women] making dough from a small lump into sheets that were yards wide). I was amazed and hoped that one day I could begin to learn what they had mastered over a lifetime. I had seen even longer ago, too, (source forgotten), pictures of an artisan making filo dough (another oil-and-water dough) by hand, starting again with a lump of dough and finishing with it stretched over a table that seems in my memory at least six feet in diameter. LindaK, thank you for resurrecting this thread. I feel this is a neglected basic pastry with so many applications, and I hope other eGulleteers will pick up on this and maybe contribute their tips and experiences with pasta matta. LindaK, how did your experience with the Malgieri recipe go? Did you make it free-form, or in a tin or dish? Thanks!
  7. JohnT - I'm lucky to be in New York, where we have unpasteurized-dairy co-ops. I haven't completely explored their offerings, but I'm looking forward to working with raw cream and milk in desserts! Thank you djyee - This sounds lovely. Grigson's been on my to-read list for years. Just another reminder of what to expect! I'd like to know what the minimum limits are for making a stable baked custard. Has anyone experimented with: * using a mix of milk and cream * reducing eggs
  8. "...burnt cream...as Elizabeth David describes in an essay on the subject in Is There a Nutmeg in the House?...turned up...in the kitchens of Trinity College, Cambridge, but in a simpler form... The custard itself was unsugared. In her recipe for 'Cambridge Burnt Cream', Elizabeth Ayrton remarks: 'On no account add sugar to this cream - the whole point of the traditional dish is that the cream in unsweetened.' Its beauty lies in the contrast between the unadulterated cream underneath and the thick dark sugar on top, the kind you tap at with your spoon." http://www.newstatesman.com/node/140359 It was probably E. David. I need to reread Nutmeg... I've never read Ayrton, unless she was quoted in a (forgotten) Saveur piece or something. I find this idea exciting. * the contrast between unsweetened cream and crust could be dashing * the minimalism could really be elegant * the reduction of sugar could show off the dairy * the reduction in sugar could really make for a light, refreshing effect after having eaten. Any thoughts on this? (thanks for the replies, JohnT, and Kerry)
  9. Possible variation: "didn't use eggs, as the cream was so rich (only cream and sugar)." I think in the original source the item was called "Eton Cream" but google brings up nothing for that search. Possibly from Elizabeth David, Is There a Nutmeg in the House? (No copy on-hand). Does this sound vaguely familiar to anyone? Goes in the lovely English tradition of naturalism in cooking.
  10. Funny coincidence that I made creme patissiere tonight. I worked from Julia Child's recipe from Mastering.. which finishes with butter (1Tb / 2c milk recipe) I don't have a copy of the book -- I worked from the recipe as reproduced (identically) on the pages below. So I can't say that in her original text the sauce was finished with butter. http://labuonacucina70.blogspot.com/2011/02/julia-childs-cream-puffs.html http://thymeforfood.blogspot.com/2008/08/eclairs-from-my-ptisserieerrkitchen.html But a google search for "creme patiessiere butter" also shows other examples of creme patissiere finished with butter. Maybe the function is similar to monter au beurre ("mounting a sauce with butter") -- adding cold butter, off the heat, to finish it. * the lecithin in the butter works as an emulsifier -- contributes lusciousness to the final texture * in the words of http://cornercafe.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/creme-patissiere/ "for additional shine and firmness" JohnT, I'm just learning to make creme patissiere -- tonight was my first go! Could you provide any tips? It came out all right, but I'm sure it could be better!
  11. Resurrecting..... my tops: **** Grumpy, Chelsea **** Ninth Street, 9th & C *** Blue Bird, 1st & 1st ** Ninth Street, Chelsea Market ** Ninth Street, Lombardy Hotel ** Third Rail, Washington Sq. Park/NYU Law (possibly one star, depending on staff on duty) * El Rey, Stanton & Orchard * Gasoline Alley, Broadway/Lafeyette Honorable Mention: Little Collins, E. Midtown Possible future inclusion: Propeller, Greenpoint (need to revisit) === Deliberately not on list: Everyman Joe the Art of Coffee Stumptown Intelligentsia, High Line Hotel Ninth Street, Tompkins Sq. Park Grumpy, other Third Rail, E. Village Gasoline Alley, (2nd location) Blue Bottle Gimme! (once great) Abraco Box Kite
  12. Used to wait tables at a Chinese buffet in Alabama years ago. The owner had to finally ask me to cut down on eating three plates of the cold mussels... now it's summer, and I'd love to reproduce it. As I remember, the mussels were dressed pretty simply in a classic combo of flavors (soy, sesame, garlic or shallot, ginger, ?scallion, a bit of sweetness). I could wing it, but would rather draw on a traditional method. Anyone else know this one? Advice? Bupkus on Google...
  13. I'd say make sure it's unscented hand lotion. A friend's old girlfriend cleaned their stainless-steel french press with scented hand soap, and two years later the coffee still tastes like lavender and emollients..not in a nice way.
  14. afn33282

    Massaman Curry

    Wound up using short ribs from a butcher where I've gotten good beef great meat in the past (can I name them?.. Savenor's, Cambridge, MA. The point is, once again it was worth it to patronize a good butcher.. deep beef flavor, as is usual from their stuff). Chose the cut per the butcher's rec., as he offered to charge me the bone-in price ($9 per), weighed after boning (!). Tremendously tender; only thing I'd do differently is trim off the sheath of fat from one side of the meat first next time. Wound up being far too much fat in the sauce, texturally. Maybe short ribs are meant for even greater glory via dry-cook methods. Plan to try chuck and brisket, too, as one doesn't always find such accommodating butchers. Other notes: palm sugar is proving a bit hard to find at the moment. And Mae Ploy curry paste, per the link above, was righteous enough, but I plan to get off my lazy scrump next time and round the recipe out with Thompson et al's recommended finishing spices, (six bay leaves etc.), no matter what the curry paste package says... proved worth the trouble last time when made from scratch.
  15. afn33282

    Massaman Curry

    Or... to be less specific, could anybody recommend a good source of info on various braising cuts and related factors? Thx.
  16. Rather new to all this. Chuck? Brisket? Shank? Butt? Money is a factor, too. Also, to what extent should I remove fat from the meat before cooking? The lovely La Bonne Cuisine de Mme. Saint-Ange really clued me in that defatting-skimming is one of the factors to a beautiful braise, but fat carries flavor, too... ref: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/29373-thai-cooking/ I'll be referencing a David Thompson rec as well, but skipping deep-frying the beef before as a first step.
  17. Hey all..! Somewhat new at this. Trying to put together a dessert, and wondering if anybody has thoughts on method/technical issues I might run into. Thanks! Idea: I want to make a layered semifreddo--rosemary meringue, and frais du (des?) bois custard...it's hot and dusty here in Cambridge, and, the latitude and local ambient (flora, etc.) color palette suggested to my feeble mind that these might be a nice combination. Plus, I've been reading a lot of Richard Olney lately.... 1. The meringue: a. Am I going to run into trouble whipping a meringue considering the oil content in rosemary? Whipping by hand, too. I thought of doing an Italian meringue, thinking that one, a rosemary syrup might be a good way to disperse the flavor into the whites, and two, that the heat of the syrup might tighten the meringue up a bit..but I'm also running on instinct a bit. b. I'm using heavy-gauge sugar, here. If enough of y'all talk me out of the syrup meringue bit, and also on the custard side, any thoughts on whether I should take the sugar for a spin in my coffee bean blade grinder first? c. rosemary infusion. not sure whether to infuse in water, and then add sugar, or infuse in syrup. also, thoughts on temp? I don't want to volatize (word?) all the nice aromatic oils out. i thought maybe a in a syrup the sugars might bind them in a bit. should i look at a lower-temp infusion? d. thoughts on when to add the syrup? my understanding is that it should be after the meringue is already whipped up e. only other options I can think of are pulverizing dried rosemary, and hoping the water content in the whites rehydrates it by the time freezing has set, or pounding fresh with sugar, and straining out the leaves....going dry; no syrup, or, option b into a syrup. I'm just hoping for a really concentrated, vibrant flavor, here, just to the point where the flavor/color of the herb is very established, and not just a backdrop for the strawberry side. I'll just post and part I this...and depending how responses go, I might trouble y'all with my custard questions. Thanks, Chris
  18. Hi-- Trying to make a recipe for which vin santo is recommended, substitutions suggested are madeira or port (no specifics on style for either). I found basic info on vin santo, but nothing that helps my friend and I decide whether to go with the much-higher priced vin santo, or say, my shop's recommended Bual Madeira. Would somebody help me get up to speed on the serious specifics in re vin santo, both for drinking and cooking purposes, at least as far as this recipe is concerned? The vs runs about $40... Thanks so much, egulleteers, in advance. All comments welcome. Recipe: Crostini with Tuscan Chicken Livers 1# free-range chicken livers 1 cup milk zest of one orange 2 T. Ex. Virgin Olive Oil 1/2 finely chopped onion 1 T. chopped sage 1 clove garlic finely chopped 1 T. finely chopped peeled ginger Kosher/sea salt, pepper to taste 1/4 Vin Santo, Madeira, or Port 1/4 c. heavy cream ~12 sliced toasted country bread * Trim livers of veins and fat; rinse in cold water. Cover with milk in bowl and refridgerate six hours. Zest orange. Wilt onions in hot oil over med-high; add sage, orange zest, garlic and ginger. Cook 1-2 min. until garlic and ginger are fragrant; drain livers and add to pan. Discard milk.k Add salt and pepper; cook about four minutes; make sure to brown livers on all sides. Deglaze pan with vin santo and cook two more minutes; liver should still be pink on inside. Add cream. Transfer to food processor; pulse ingredients to a medium-smooth puree. ?Correct seasonings? (I get the concept, but how am I supposed to do this, exactly? This concept always drives me a bit nuts. If they mean add more salt and/or pepper, if needed, can do. Otherwise, the specifics escape my intuition...or limited experience ). Thanks again.
  19. Originally it was aligote'. I think this is a white from a rarer grape (aligote) of Burgundy. Nowadays I hear Chablis, too. Hope this helps.
  20. Looks nice. Thanks for the heads-up, GiftedGourmet.
  21. afn33282

    Removing wine labels

    We sell something at the wine shop that is basically a big rectangle of clear tape. It sort of splits the front half of the label from the back half which is glued to the bottle. According to my boss they are using stronger glue nowadays. I personally would prefer to have the label in a non-laminated state, sort of, but you takes what you can get, I guess. If you like I can get you the name of the product and maybe a source. Edit: Heh heh. The perils of laziness. Should have checked the links first. Winesonoma's link takes you to the product we have.
  22. afn33282

    Ways to eat grits

    You could add in cut-up link breakfast sausages once in a while. And make sure, for the authentic Southern bit, to use traditional American breakfast links. And please, dear God, don't make this. Not quite Steve, Don't Eat It, but a fair runner-up, I'd say. Also, you might get your grits here.
  23. Hey, good luck with all that. I don't know much, but my vague impression is that ports, while coming in several types, are usually either pretty grapey, or pretty nutty/caramel-ly from longer wood aging. I am not very good at matching up flavors in a dish, but it seems that your recipe would call for something on the grapey side. The amontillado would be closer to the nutty-ish profile. I would use the sangiovese, reduce the heck out of it--port is a bit thicker than table wine, and maybe add some sugar--port is kind of sweet, in my rediculously limited experience. Also, you can all laugh at me for this, but maybe a teaspoon of top-notch grape jam to boost the fruitiness? None of the Sangioveses I've tried were very fruity. But I am no cook, so try to imagine adding a nutty vs. fruity element to the other ingredients, and trust your instincts. By the way, the only Amontillado I've ever tried (actually not a Sherry, but the Alvear Montilla-Moriles Amontillado), was very dry. You'd definately want to compensate with some sugar, etc. Also, bleachboy, I have always wanted to try Calvados, and I am sure it wonderful, but I wouldn't imagine that its apple profile would be a perfect substitution for port in every case. For this recipe it might work, but the apple on top of the cherry and the marmalade, which I am assuming is orange marmalade, doesn't sound right to me. And somebody told me the other day that most eaux de vie (fruit brandies) are dry, but I am not sure about Calvados. But, bleachboy, you probably know a lot more about it than I do. It might work brilliantly--as I said, I have a lot to learn about combining flavors Last note. This site says "Use any sweet red wine as a substitute in your recipe." Not very helpful as far as specifics, in my opinion, but you get the idea. There is also another link here, on alcohol substitutions, including one for port, but the darn thing was taking so long to pull up I gave up before I could see the page. The Google sketch said something about concord grape juice plus lime zest and cranberry juice --maybe there was more, but the snippet cut off there. Hope it works out. ***later*** Ach, bleachboy, you might have been right. Check this out: "If the recipe calls for 1/4 cup or more port wine, sweet sherry, rum, brandy, or fruit-flavored liqueur, substitute equal measure of unsweetened orange juice or apple juice plus 1 tsp. corresponding flavored extract or vanilla extract." I don't know, though; after reading some of the site's suggestions, I am dubious in general. As a last resort, you might slog through the Google results for substitute port wine -birthmark here. By the way, the balsamic vinegar idea is sounding better and better as I think about it. Chris, loves food, no cook.
  24. Heck, go to your good local independant wine shop and buy a bottle of Dow's ruby port for $10. If they don't have Dow's, you might find a decent Australian/Californian offering. I am sure you will use it again. I don't think tawny port is usually recommended for basic pan sauces, but I am not sure. As far as shelf-life, I am not sure. Maybe you could freeze it in ice-cube trays, a la chicken stock?
  25. afn33282

    Triple H Day

    Well, lots of water, really. And if I'm feeling enterprising, homemade lemonade. But since this is the wine forum, I'll take the inzolia bianco from Regaleali (Sicily), a Winebow/Leonardo Locascio import.
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