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Everything posted by Schielke

  1. Schielke


    I have a particularly good specimen of daikon sitting in my fridge right now. I would estimate the size at 12-13 inches and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I would hate to let this lovely piece of vegetation go to waste. I rarely cook or do anything with daikon since can never use it all in a reasonable amount of time. I would appreciate any and all suggestions for dishes that use or highlight daikon. Thanks a bunch! Ben
  2. All I know about Konnyaku (spelling) is that it is made from yam flour and has caloric value. Aparently it expands 30 to 50 times its size in your digestive system, which makes you feel full. It is used as a diet food in japan and is sometimes flavored with seaweed. I would love to know the taste, uses, and any interesting experiences you have had with it. I am sure I can get it here in Seattle at one of the Asian Groceries. Are any brands better than others? Can you make it at home? Would you want to? Thanks everybody! Ben
  3. Schielke


    I would love to hear eveybody's thoughts on durian fruit. I have tried a smoothie made from durian and nearly vomited from the smell alone. We had to cover it up between our brave sips so the smell wouldnt overpower the room. I would discribe it as a cross between dirty diapers and propane. Anthony Bourdain tried it in his Cook's Tour series and he seemed to enjoy it... that sick bastard. I read a legend about it that described the fruit's fall from grace. A king was going to throw an awesome party for some reason and he had his court magician make the most delicious fruit in all the land. The magician did so and the king was very pleased. For some reason though the magician was not invited to the party so he put a curse on the fruit that made it spiny and smell horrible, yet still taste delicious. Another tidbit is that in some places where the fruit is available, you cannot take it on public transportation because it could break open and stink up the bus! What are your experiences with this interesting fruit?
  4. What makes a good shake? I dont ever make them at home for some reason and would love to get some recipes, tips, or general practices for good milkshakes. Lay it on me! Thanks! Ben
  5. I had a great meal at Harvest Vine this weekend. A good friend of mine and I were moping around my place while Katie was off galavanting around for a batchelorette party. We decided that a top notch dinner was in order and decided on Harvest Vine. After our hour + wait (we went to the park and played on the swings), we were led to the new downstairs area. It is a room about the same size as the upstairs and has space for about 20-25 people. There is one large family style table that we were seated at. After pouring over the many mouthwatering sounding dishes on the menu, we talked with our very capable waiter Fernando and he agreed to hook us up with a "tasting menu" of sorts where he would pick the dishes. Fernando assured us that the meal would be wonderful and bounded up the stairs to construct our meal. Cold Selections Selection of Olives- I am still getting used to olives (did not eat them as a kid), but I am growing to like them. The selection was three types: Small green ones a little bigger than a pea that had a nice mellow flavor, Medium black that had a smooth steady saltiness, and Large green ones that were a litte harsher. I favored the black ones. Smoked Sea Bass with Squid Ink, EVOO, and caramelized onions- A nice platter of cold smoked sea bass that fernando said they do in house. It was a nice mellow smokiness that went well with the delicate taste of the fish. The squid ink was very interesting, it tasted very light and savory. Parma Ham 2+ years- Fernando advised us that this parma ham was special in that regular hams are cured for 6 months, but this one went for 2+ years. It had a very nice concentrated flavor of intense meatiness. The fat was very smooth and the texture consistent. Very very good. I did wish, however, that they would have sliced it even thinner. Sardine Filets with EVOO and Black Olive Tapenade- A platter of small sardine filets with good peppery EVOO drizzled everywhere and small piles of tapenade on each filet. I ate these on some toast and they were fabulous. Fishy tasting, but in the good way. The olive oil and the tapenade did a neat kind of "salt" and "pepper" thing. Hot Selections Green Beans with Tomato-Garlic sauce- Really flavorful small green beans sauteed and topped with a slightly sweet garlic-tomato sauce. Chorizo Sausage sauteed with Garlic and Cider- The Chorizo sausage was so very good. It was a little tougher than regular sausages, but it appeared to be the style. I did enjoy it's toughness. It was nicely spicy, without being too assertive. I meant to ask if it was made in-house, but more dishes came and I forgot. Chickpeas with Tomato-Cumin gravy- This one bordered on Indian style. The chickpeas were cooked very well and had a slight backbone to them, but were still tender. They were covered in a slightly smoky tomato-cumin gravy that I loved. Braised Octopus with roasted potatoes- I did not know octopus could be this tender. It had such a great texture and was fun when you got some of the little suction cups in a bite. The roasted potatoes were ok, but made even better when dipped in one of the many sauces on the various dishes at the table. This was a great example of spanish style octopus. Lamb Chops with Potato Gratin- Expertly grilled chops over a little ple of the tastiest damn potatoes. The chops were a nice medium rare high quality lamb. Both of us ended up cleaning and re-cleaning the bones trying to get that last bit of flavor from them. The potatoes were as a gratin should be. More than the sum of their parts. Top notch. Seared Foie Gras with caramelized pumpkin- Fernando came by and told us we had one more dish coming and it was his favorite on the entire menu. He assured us that we would love it. Within minutes he returned with a plate foie that shall rival all other foie. Crispy, salt studded exterior, smooth just-melting interior and a nicely balanced sweet sauce (reduced port perhaps) with small pieces of caramelized pumpkin. Simply Excellent. A bonus was that my dining companion had never had foie gras before and was suitably introduced to the pleasures of goose fat. By this point we were nicely stuffed and unfourtanetly did not have room for dessert. Fernando apologized for not including it in our meal, but we were so happy by then that we did not care. The only lapse in service at this point was getting out. It was almost as if they did not want us to leave. We were long finished with our food and obviously waiting for the check, but none came. I think we waited about 20 min to get it and then it took a long time for them to pick up the credit card. I took nearly 40 min to get out of there! My friend made a comment that the place hates to let you in (long wait) and hates to let you leave. Besides this inconvienence, the meal was spectacular and again I highly reccommend that everybody who has the means visit Harvest Vine soon. Ben
  6. I knew something was awry when they wouldnt serve sandwiches after 5 pm. This is sad news.
  7. Taqueria La Garreta up on aurora and 177th or so on the east side of aurora is really great. It is an old school bus that you can go inside to order and eat. I havent been down south to try out everybody's faves but this one is damn good.
  8. Schielke


    hmmm, how much material is floating on top? It could certainly be yeast, but keep an eye on it. Also note how the beer smells at this point. This weekend, we bottled our scotch ale and are waiting for the bottles to carbonate. We also brewed a belgian white that is sitting in the fermenter now. I can't wait!
  9. Schielke


    Great! It sounds like you are on the right track. For sure replace the sugar. If you opt to boil instead of pour boiling water on top, do the following: 1. Boil your water (use the same amount suggested in the kit) 2. Put the remaining amount of water in the fridge or freezer to get really cold 3. Add the malt and stir to dissolve (don't let it burn on the bottom of the pan!) 4. Boil the mixture (wort) for a half hour (normally an hour or so, but you are not adding any hops outside of what is in the mixture). 5. While this is boiling, start to activate your yeast in a small amount of warm water (boiling it and cooling it is best for sanitation; you could fesably use some cooled wort) 6. Cool the wort down as fast as possible. I use a wort chiller to help this (copper coil that you run cold water through). You can put the mixture in an ice bath and add the chilled remainder of your water. How you do this will depend on how big of a pot you have. The key is to get it cooled to about 80 deg to be a nice home for the yeast. 7. Once cooled and in your fermenter, add your yeast and mix well. 8. Pop the top on and add your airlock. 9. You should see some bubbles the next day. Remember the whole time to work with sanitized tools. I use Star San, which is a great sanitation solution. Enjoy the process! Ben
  10. Schielke


    Hmmm, I dont want to mess with kit instructions, but regular sugar in your beer is a big no-no for real beer. It is just a cheaper way for kit makers to get a desired alcohol level out of a beer. Also a pre-hopped extract is usually a poor alternative to boiling real hops. I would say do as your kit instructs but then look into buying your ingredients from a good brewshop. They will be able to hook you up with good recipies and ingredients. If you want to do one thing that will make a difference in this batch; get a better yeast than what came with the kit. Find a good brew shop and ask for a liquid yeast that matches your style of beer.
  11. Schielke

    High Atop the Fridge

    Empty beer bottles for future homebrew batches. My wife wants me to move them.
  12. Schielke


    Wow, it only took me three years. Myself and a couple buddies took the plunge and got some brewing equipment. There is a great brewshop up on 145th and Greenwood called "The Cellar", they also sell wine and cheesemaking supplies. Our first beer was a pale ale that turned out ok, it seems to have a slightly off aftertaste that I can't really put my finger on...but it will get cha' drunk! We moved on to brewing a scottish ale that is in the secondary fermenter right now and smells fantastic. I can't wait to bottle it up. At the same time, we expanded our operation by another carboy and are in the process of brewing up some hard cider. The fermentation went pretty crazy and the yeast decided to spout off some Sulphur in the process so I just have to cross my fingers that the smell will go away. Brewing is fun! Ben
  13. The Ladro I go to is on 1st and Union. They seem to do a good job, but the milk just isn't right. There are a bunch of cherry st. locations downtown and due to this they are kinda all over the board. In some cases you get just ok stuff, but some of the baristas know how to properly microfoam. Their straight shots are usually quite serviceable. I usually end up at either the one on 4th and Marion or 1st and Cherry. Yeah, Top Pot's coffee is fairly meh... Zeitgeist used to be pretty decent, but I have not been for a while. You are right though, doughnuts are great.
  14. Schielke

    Why is Italian cappuccino so good?

    This is totally true. I recently had my honeymoon in Italy and I don't think that the quality is even close to the best of the bunch in Seattle. What Italy does have though is a much higher base level of quality. While we have Starbucks etc.. here, the average espresso joint on the corner in Italy is much more concerned about proper espresso.
  15. My thoughts on the Seattle scene: Vivace is far and away the best and most consistent shop in town. The following places are also great, but in my experience have some consistency issues: Hines Zoka Lighthouse Victriola Downtown Seattle for some reason doesn't have as good of coffee as the immediate surrounding area. The following places are good: Cherry St. Coffee Pegasus Cafe Ladro
  16. Tonight, my girlfriend and I will be celebrating our two year anniversary by going to Mistral. I plan on bringing my digital camera tonight and taking some notes if I can. A report will be soon to follow. We are bringing a bottle of 1999 Plumpjack Estate Cabernet that Katie got me as a gift. Should be fun! Ben
  17. Schielke

    Green Tea Powder

    I have been interested in buying some Matcha (Green tea powder) to try out in tea and to use for making green tea ice cream. Does anybody have a good source for this stuff or any tips on using it? Have you tasted tea made with it? I believe there is a traditional whisk like implement used to make the tea; sort of like an old school shaving cream brush. Ben
  18. Great new place in Shoreline/Seattle Fu Man Dumpling House does all homeade dumplings, noodles, soups, etc that are really great. I went this last weekend and had a great meal of steamed dumplings, hot and sour soup (the real stuff), chow mein, fried rice, and a "hamburger". Seriously, check it out. They are on the east side of Greenwood just south of 145th. Ben
  19. Schielke

    Totem Lake

    Ahh, Rancho Bravo. That was one of my faves when I lived in the area. Chicken mole tacos there rock. Ben
  20. Schielke

    The peaches are in!

    I havent been back since they were there late last week so there is a chance the sale is gone. You might want to give them a ring. Ben
  21. Schielke

    The peaches are in!

    Central market had washington tree-ripened peaches on sale for .99 a pound. They were great.
  22. I have only been to the Zania down in pioneer square. Their Gyros are decent, but really nothing special. I have heard great stuff about the Falafel and fully intend to try them shortly. Perhaps I should make the treck to the 3rd ave location.
  23. Also to finally clear this up: Mistral never provided food for Sea Sound Lounge. A couple employees did a brief stint in Sea Sound's kitchen, but it didn't work out in the long run. Also, the salmon are gone (I kind of liked them though), new artwork is up.
  24. Had another awesome meal at Mistral last night. It has been way too long since we had last been, but we have made it tradition to go to Mistral on our Aniversary so we finally made it in. God I love that place. Dinner- I am trying to remember it now and it is a bit fuzzy since I didnt take notes so I am going ot hit you with the highlights: Hamachi & Kampachi Tartare w/ pinenuts and cucumber water- great opener as always, the toasted pinenuts were very present and played nicely with the smooth fresh fish. Fluke (I think) w/ shaved asparagus, green olives, and I forget the rest, I think there was a slice of lime!- I remember this being a very bold dish that worked very well. Kudos to the chef. Diver Scallop corn chowder w/ carrot cloud- The scallop alone is worth the price of admission. Just some top notch cooking and top notch ingredients. Lamb, potatoes zatar spice- you all know the potatoes. Need I say more? Spiced Mango puree w/ lavender ice cream- the mango was great, slightly spiced and quite interesting. I think the dish had lavender ice cream, but I am pretty fuzzy at this point. We also had some great wines to accompany the dinner, the pairings were just great. I always forget how great a good wine pairing can be, but I was reminded last night. Mistral News- There is a brand new branch of Mistral in Bangkok! Mistral is a chain now. William has been working very hard between the two locations to what appears to be great success. Look for a future Seattle based project coming up. Sweet. -Ben p.s. I just started working downtown. Lunch is much more possible!