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Everything posted by saltshaker

  1. Gabriel, Rocotos definitely have the black or dark brown seeds, at least in mature pods. It's one of the defining characteristics, at least for those of us down here. If we get some that have white seeds, we return 'em to our supplier - they're probably a related cultivar rather than actual rocotos.
  2. Sneak, I don't take any offense. But, I am from New York City. I lived there for most of the last three decades and I go back and forth several times a year, so I know what prices are like. Cabaña Las Lilas is a ripoff, and not just for the price, but in relation to the quality. It's not like they have some monopoly on the best beef in the country or have some amazing grill man who can cook a steak better than anyone else in town. They have very good quality steaks, no question. But equal quality steaks are available from other locations and at significantly lower prices (and if it's of any interest, I'm a professional chef, and a restaurant critic). While I understand how you arrived at the inference that I was saying the other places I recommended had "worse" steaks, it was a logical leap - I wasn't implying that, I was merely suggesting that you could go to Las Lilas and spend lots to get a great steak - that doesn't equal that spending less somewhere else means getting worse. I don't deny anyone their right to overspend on dinner, and I've done my share of it over the years, but if someone asks, I will give them my opinion about having better options - whether they, or you, choose to pay any attention to them is in truth, their/your option. I'd also agree with SillyD on La Cabrera, La Brigada, and I'd add in Des Nivel as well. I have a bit of an ethical problem with La Brigada as I have friends "of color" who have been refused admittance at the door, and I no longer go there, but I must admit their steaks are top-notch. Rainey - the problem you'll run into at non-tourist restaurants is that they simply won't be open. I'm not sure what El Obrero's hours, for example, are - they're open for lunch and then they close around 3:30. My guess would be they don't even open again for dinner until about 8:30/9:00. And, like most places, probably won't get busy until 10:00 or later. But so what - go when they open, be their first customer, linger over your dinner a bit, and by the time you leave it'll be busy and you'll get the atmosphere part too, and still be out of there by, say, 11 or 11:30. In terms of steak - really your choice, comes down to the cut you like. I love entraña, or hanger steak, but I would never turn down one of the other cuts! If you want something thick and juicy, probably a bife de chorizo, which is more or less like a porterhouse in the states.
  3. If you want a completely touristy experience, and outrageous prices, then yes, Cabana Las Lilas is a great bet. It's excellent steak, but bluntly, the check is just legalized robbery. There is no "best" place here in the city. There are lots of really good parrillas (steakhouses) and lots and lots of just average ones. A lot of it will come down to the particular cut of beef you're interested in - some places do one better than others. Take a look at my blog and the restaurant reviews by cuisine section to get a sense of my thoughts on some of them. Off the top of my head, if it's not just about the steak, but about a Buenos Aires dining experience, I'd head for places like El Trapiche or El Obrero - you won't get much more authentic, and the food is quite good. If you want something trendy and modern, try Miranda. If you don't care about what it does to your wallet, by all means head to Las Lilas...
  4. I'll disagree on the "hot as hell" assessment. There are a lot of peppers out there I wouldn't bite into on a bet, rocotos aren't one of them. We eat them raw, on the side of Peruvian dishes, all the time. They're actually a bit on the fruity-aromatic side, and certainly hot, but not overly so (every now and again I've run into one that was particularly hot, but those seem to be the rarity). Here's a dish we recently made for dinner, and you can see we weren't shy about the rocotos! http://www.saltshaker.net/20060803/peruvian-tuna-casserole
  5. Tried the bread at Masamadre es con M the other day - they have a whole grain and seed bread that's simply spectacular! And their other breads that I sampled are darned good as well. Thanks Daniel for the recommendation!
  6. And where might one find HausBrot? La Pompeya, btw, was a great suggestion. But, like for Robert, it's too far away to go for "daily bread".
  7. Red recado is achiote paste, which is made from the powder of crushed annatto seeds with something slightly liquid, like a touch of tomato paste. To the paste is added a little fresh garlic, pepper, chiles, juice of sour oranges, and salt. Very similar, by the way, to what in neighboring Mexico is referred to as adobo. I've never seen a more complicated recipe for Belize stew chicken (Belize's "national dish") than simply stewing the chicken parts in a ball of red rocado, some chicken bouillon, and onions. Generally served over rice and beans.
  8. 22 courses and 4-1/2 hours at Tetsuya's a couple of years ago.
  9. For New York City - pick and choose: http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENE...ers/diners.html
  10. I'm not sure I'd agree. My personal experience with Guia Oleo, and that of several of my friends is that the site owner simply declines to post commentary that he/she(?) doesn't agree with; other comments have been edited to say things that I or they didn't say. Often I find the information is out of date or just plain wrong, often with things as basic as address, phone number, and/or type of cuisine. Actually, one of the more interesting sites I recently discovered is elcuerpodecristo.com which is unmoderated user forums. While the discussions can get a bit intense sometimes, and there are certainly fewer restaurants covered, I find I get a better picture of the restaurants that are. Unfortunately, for many folk, especially those who are just visitors, the site is completely in castellano.
  11. In response to Gifted's post above, Salsa Llajwa (or Yaqua), I did a write up about it on my blog, it's really delicious! http://www.saltshaker.net/20060302/llajwa-...d-herb-blogging Can't explain the Italian thing either - Bolivia isn't like Argentina or Uruguay with the major Italian influence. Sounds like just a decision on the part of the owners to offer something more "familiar". Your description of the Bolivian empanadas is interesting too, because generally, the Bolivian versions aren't fried - not that it's not possible, but, I've never seen them fried. They're also, unlike the Argentine or Uruguayan or Chilean versions, often served with a spoon, because the filling, classically, is a bit "soupy" in comparison to the others, and it's difficult to eat them by hand. The dough is also quite different, almost more like a savory shortcrust than what I've seen in the other countries. Spicy is often the case too... http://www.saltshaker.net/20060210/bolivian-spice-fix http://www.saltshaker.net/20060302/zona-boliviana
  12. I can certainly, as a chef, understand the feelings of disappointment or annoyance that come with someone wholesale copying a dish that you've made. Especially when not only do they duplicate flavors, but also presentation. It's a natural reaction if you've put a lot of work into something. On the other hand, as has been pointed out above, where does the line get drawn? How many restaurants throughout the world now offer a molten center chocolate cake, without attribution; something which does not go back a whole lot of time in culinary history? At what point does something pass from being a chef's signature to just part of the repertoire of cuisine? Does using a different herb in your foam really make your dish different on a fundamental level from anything being done by dozens of other chefs? Heck, when it comes down to it, isn't offering up something dusted with "cheese dust" just copying Kraft Mac & Cheese, with a different presentation? I remember when I was in cooking school being taught "cutting edge" recipes that were blatantly lifted from local chefs, and presented to us as if they were very simply "the new way to cook". I know I, and many of my fellow students, went out into the world and began using those very recipes, and presentations, over and over (remember when we were all zigzagging 2-3 sauces across the plate, under the food?). If the sincerest form of flattery is imitation, let them imitate. In reality, who cares if a restaurant in Melbourne offers up a dish from a restaurant in New York, and pretends it's their own? Is it really going to matter ten years from now? 5? 1? a month? If you do it well, and your own customers appreciate it, isn't that what's important?
  13. Cool Cluvy, thanks! Does it just get left on the plant to get older and have the skin get leathery? I would think if so, or if done off the plant, it would get mushy and spoil...?
  14. Actually that's one of those apocryphals stories. I don't remember where I read the whole thing, but I think it was either the NY Times or NY Mag a few years back where they were able to show the term in use in restaurants before Chumley's ever existed. Still, it makes a fun story.
  15. Interestingly, we always called that style "Philadelphia" not Pittsburgh... hmmm... But I'd agree with the quote above - if you're not sure, ask - and whether or not it's the way you'd like your steak (or any other food), if you can do it for the customer, do it.
  16. Why? Baking soda is replacing yeast, not eggs... Eggs would add richness to the bread, they'd only provide some leavening if they were whipped.
  17. I feel like I've started a train wreck! My recollection is that the recipe had part baking soda and part baking powder in it. But, I'm going to give the buttermilk version a try and see how it comes out. Perhaps my mind is just gone feeble without soda bread...
  18. No, I'm pretty sure of it - I wonder if there was more than one printing of this series with changes? I'll have to give the one above a try, but I'm certain that the version I have been making used heavy cream rather than buttermilk - though, it was indeed a simple recipe like that one. Now I'm wondering if someone had suggested that I take that recipe and make the ingredient substitution...
  19. It has a faint element of sweetness, but isn't a sweet bread with raisins and such. I'm not even sure why, in particular it's considered "Irish" - maybe there was an explanation with the recipe, something the T-L series was good about. The basic soda bread recipe above sounds, good, but isn't quite it - I remember one of the things about it was that it used heavy cream, which was part of what gave it its richness and faint sweetness. I've tried lots of soda breads, and it was the probably best one I'd ever come across.
  20. Hidden away in the Bread volume of the Time-Life Good Cook series is a truly spectacular Irish Cream Soda Bread. Unfortunately, while overseas, I've left behind a good portion of my library in New York. This is one of those breads that I love making for special dinners. Anyone happen to have a copy of the book who could post or e-mail me the recipe? Gracias in advance!
  21. I'll offer up my website as one source, www.saltshaker.net (look over on the right side for the Restaurant Review index, and then you can click to read each). Primarily restaurant reviews for Buenos Aires, but I think I'm pretty independent... Don't know of anyone who I'd really call "independent" other than that down here. There are some sites like www.guiaoleo.com.ar and www.restaurant.com.ar that offer ratings and info like hours, addresses and phone numbers. But the former is somewhat moderated and commentary from users (a la Zagats) often get removed if the site owner disagrees with them, and the latter is advertiser driven...
  22. Malagai, it wasn't intended to be rude, nor, going back and reading what I said do I think it is, but if you took it that way, I'm sorry. It was, however, intended to hopefully keep this topic on the course I'd envisioned - as I said, I can't control that, but, I don't think it's any different than the dozens of posts on other threads by the original author wishing for the same thing.
  23. While obviously I can't control what gets posted, my idea in starting this thread was for people to post strange fruits and vegetables that they actually come across and have in their possession as they travel or in markets near home. Then they could tell us what the vegetable or fruit tasted like, and how they prepared it, along with some pictures. It's too easy to just go off and search the internet for oddities and post links.
  24. I've cooked with crosnes a couple of times when I lived in New York. Haven't seen them here, but I do like them. Might be fun if you had a photo of them to post, as I'd bet most folks haven't seen them - and they are weird.
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