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Everything posted by Dieck

  1. Just wanted to say it's nice to see another Rochesterian on here! I agree, Zweigles are good hots and I'm sure I have some frozen ones in the recesses of the freezer. I've got to get my head around this idea. My freezer is too stuffed with who knows what and it bugs me to keep throwing out stuff because of freezer burn.
  2. Trying to remember what Morimoto did with Ostrich egg when he went up against Wolfgang Puck on Iron Chef. All I remember is him drawing a circle around it with a sharpie and going at it with a hacksaw. That's entertainment! ← I remember Morimoto doing something with an Ostrich egg too -- probably on "Battle Egg." I have a vague recollection of him using it as some kind of serving piece. Could he have nestled each egg half in a lot of salt and used it as a bowl for soup? I also was thinking about what kind of interesting thing she could have done with that huge egg. Maybe serve it with a ginormous steak for a Flintstones version of steak and eggs? Or cut a big hole in a pizza crust and do a take off on "toad in the hole?" Or ... wasn't Antonia into serving a fried egg on top of a salad? Maybe a giant salad with a giant fried egg on top? Or an enormous spin on an Egg McMuffin? Now you see why I'm not on TC...
  3. I thought about posting this in the regional forums ... but I'm almost certain that Top Chef NYC will take place in my town -- ROCHESTER -- next week! I am on pins and needles to see what they did here. (If anyone is interested, I posted my reasons for thinking it's in Rochester on my blog ... I could have cut & pasted onto this post but didn't think there would be a lot of interest in a long explanation.) Of course if I'm wrong I'll have egg on my face...
  4. I have to add that I liked a couple of the newer ones. I loved the one in which he cooked vegetarian fare for the rodeo crowd. I liked that they showed the mixed reviews from the cowboys, and also liked the end, when he said that the idea that you can substitute the soy stuff for real meat is a bunch of bull ... he seemed very embarrassed to admit to them that he had served them vegetarian fare... I also liked the Mothers Day challenge in which he had to cook for 500, which was kind of absurd. He declared it a failure because some people had to wait a long time. I kinda like the idea that not every one isn't going to be a home run. The new host/format is growing on me...
  5. I've watched this show a few times with Symon in it ... it seems to me that Symon's affable personality makes this format less dramatic than Irvine did. Don't get me wrong -- I like Symon better, and his food is great -- but it doesn't have as much of a "how is he going to do it" quality. Am I the only one?
  6. Good question. Without a doubt, my favorite is Steingarten. Least favorite is probably Akiko Katayama, whose main comment about 80% of the dishes is that they are "too oily". Please, find a new criticism! ← I agree!
  7. I really enjoyed the zucchini challenge. Would have loved to have eaten that food. I was pleasantly surprised when Chef Hamilton won because her dishes seemed simpler. I loved it when she jokingly called one of her dishes homely (or another word like that) -- how often do you hear that on Iron Chef America? Has there ever been a thread about favorite/least favorite ICA judges? My favorite pair: Rapper Bone Crusher with Jeffrey Steingarten. The combination is hilarious. Least favorite: Karine Bakhoum. I agree that it has been good to have a wider variety of judges on the show.
  8. I agree -- on any of the morning programs the chefs really have to scramble to do a coherent demonstration.
  9. I just watched the first one. Yes, her hand movements are over the top, but it could be "first show adrenaline.' I liked her. She was very real. She actually said "crud" and "crap," which I think could get contestants on the Next Food Network Star booted. I'd love to invite her to a party. And her grilled asparagus salad with poached egg looked divine. Must make that.
  10. Dieck

    Recipes from Top Chef

    I can't advise you about that particular recipe but the recipes on the Bravo site are terribly inaccurate. It's as if an intern who doesn't know anything about cooking typed them up. I tried to make the banana bread with salted caramel and meringue that Stephanie Izard made earlier in the year. The bread was way too salty. When I looked at the caramel recipe, it had egg whites in it, which baffled me. And the part of the recipe labeled caramel meringue didn't have any egg whites -- and I don't know a way of making meringue without them. After scratching my head for a minute I realized the titles had been switched (I know, it takes me awhile). But even with that correction (which was made after I -- and probably others -- pointed it out in a comment), the meringue was still titled caramel meringue and it clearly didn't have a caramel component. At any rate, after tasting the salty bread and realizing the titles had been switched, I didn't trust the recipe enough to continue. When I've looked at recipes since then, I've noticed crazy mistakes -- I just can't remember what they are right now. I would love to know if the recipes in the cookbook were actually edited and tested. Lotsa luck with your cooking!
  11. He was favored by whom? You? ← "Of our final three, Richard had the most experience, the most imagination, and by far the most technical proficiency. He had consistently wowed us during the season, and frankly, this was his competition to lose." Tom Colicchio's blog I thought that was obvious by watching the show ... although I was pulling for Stephanie from the beginning. Blais grew on me, though. I would have been happy with either one winning. And I'd definitely jump at the chance to eat Stephanie's food. I'm envious that you had a chance to do so.
  12. I was thrilled for Stephanie. She's done well throughout, and what a classy person. And I loved her interaction with Eric Ripert as her sous chef. Too funny. And poor Richard. Going into any competition as the favorite adds to the pressure of the situation. I believe anyone who watched the show will remember him as a creative chef and a likable, classy guy. I'm just wondering -- did they have the baby before the finale? I remember those first few months of parenthood as being emotional and exhausting.
  13. Thanks Eileen for the quick and helpful response!
  14. I am trying to quadruple a favorite cookie recipe. I thought I had heard somewhere that when you are doing this, you don't quadruple the leavening or the salt. Is this true? I've been trying to search for how to do this but I don't seem to be using the right terms. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Many thanks.
  15. I went to buy brown rice at Wegmans today and noticed the shelves of regular rice (as in, not the instant kind) were bare. I ponied up over $6 for fairly large container of Texmati brown rice. I haven't tried it before so I'll be curious to try it.
  16. I asked the question about the technique but I hardly think I'm fixated on it. I just saw a technique I hadn't seen before and was curious about it. That's something I like about Top Chef. Once half of the competitors get weeded out, you do get to see some interesting cooking. I wish they showed more of that and less of contestants in various stage of undress. I think I've derailed this thread long enough but thanks for all the interesting responses.
  17. I have battle tomato on Tivo and I've fallen asleep twice while watching it so I have yet to see the ending. But has anyone noticed that they've gone overboard with adding campy sound effects throughout the show? It made me nuts.
  18. How do you overwork meat? He was probably trying to get the air out of the patties. Air bubbles can burst inside pate's and make grainy textures, and of course, holes. It's pretty common practice to sort of "slam" a pate mold on the counter a bit to do the same thing. That would be my guess. ← I get why the slamming would work with pate, but not a burger. Many recipes I have for burgers, meat loafs, meatballs etc. say "do not overwork meat." To be honest, I'm not exactly sure how you overwork meat, but I'm fairly certain I've done it. After I competed in the National Beef Cookoff with a meatball recipe, a Food Network reporter who had been in the judging room told me that the judges said I "overworked the meat." Overworking meat has been a has been a concern of mine since then. Just for kicks I tried the slamming technique today when I made burgers. Can't say I figured out what it was supposed to accomplish, except maybe make patties of even thickness. The mystery continues. And I agree with the frustration about the Top Chef recipes. My guess is that the chefs do their cooking and then they jot down how they made it. I'm sure they don't precisely measure things as they go. All the same, it's irritating to want to make some thing and have something missing -- I've been wanting to try Stephanie's banana bread dessert but in her recipe she doesn't say what to do with one of the ingredients. There's a Top Chef cookbook out -- unless someone really edited and tested those recipes, it's going to be a waste of space on a bookshelf. David, your ribs look delicious!
  19. I loved this episode. Wanted to crawl through the TV and eat the food. I want to try Dale's ribs but the recipes on the site are so imprecise and sloppy (his recipe calls for fusilli and there's no way I saw pasta). Anyway, the show never fails to show me a technique I haven't seen before. I wanted to ask all of you about something I saw Richard doing. When he was making his "pate melts" he was taking the meat and throwing it against the hotel tray, like you might do with a yeast dough. Does anyone know why he was doing that? Wouldn't that overwork the meat?
  20. nleidel, glad you had the same thought about Coho. It's been years since I've had it but my memory recalls "ick." As for brownies, have you tried the Cooks Illustrated recipe for brownies? That's my go-to brownie.
  21. I was wondering about the same thing -- poached vs sous vide. Did you happen to read Ming Tsai's interview on the Bravo site? Not a chef that seems intrigued with sous vide. I think his quote was, "I use plastic bags for taking out my garbage." I'm guessing he wouldn't have been impressed with the smoked dishes covered with plastic wrap.
  22. I'm sure I've never seen anything less than 80% lean at Wegmans.
  23. It's funny that you mention this. I made a recipe for "French Onion Salisbury Steak" last night for dinner. The burgers were browned, removed from the heat as onions cooked, then added back in with beef broth and other stuff. It was served open-faced over cheesy toasted slices of French bread. It all sounded good to me but I made the mistake of buying 90% lean ground beef for the recipe (it called for ground chuck). I thought the cooking in the liquid would keep things moist. Ugh. They were awful. Some of the problem was the recipe ... but some was the meat I used. I'm one that is turned off by burgers with pink insides, unless I've seen the one piece of meat that has been ground for the burgers. I'm interested in any and all ways of keeping well-done burgers moist. The bacon idea sounds like a good one.
  24. I heard the fishmonger tell Richard that the Coho salmon was fresh ... Richard said they used "wild salmon," so I'm betting they used the Coho. I grew up just north of Chicago, eating Coho salmon from Lake Michigan. I haven't eaten Coho in years, but I recall it being a very soft, somewhat watery fish. I hated it (and I didn't hate all fish -- I loved Lake Perch and Whitefish from the same area). I've been wondering ... could it be that Richard was used to working with a different kind of salmon that had a firmer texture? Your having eaten his salmon sous vide and liked it makes my hunch a little stronger. Even though the scaly fish was icky, I still think they picked the right person to go. She had never appeared to be one of the stronger contestants. Did she really think those judges didn't know what they are talking about? She should have taken the criticism and learned from the experience, instead of whining and making excuses.
  25. I liked this episode in general. I wish we could have seen all of the Quickfire dishes and techniques used. I didn't think the product placements were nearly as obnoxious this time -- or am I just getting used to them? And I join those who can't quite figure out plastic wrap as being appropriate for a fine dining experience, though. I had the same reaction do Ryan's comment about working for Boulud ... woah, wasn't he the guy that Bayless didn't like? I hated his comments about Mark ... plus he likes "Dumb & Dumber" ... he has now overtaken Andrew as the guy I'd like to see gone. Speaking of that pair ... I have a cooking question about Mark & Ryans' carrot puree, which everyone seemed to rave about. I'd love to try it at home but I'm puzzled by the directions. The full recipe is on the Top Chef site. It says: "Roast carrots in saute pan with ginger, onion and corn oil. In stages, add carrot juice, cook all the way down and add twice more until soft." I don't understand this. Forgive me if this sounds stupid ... but to me, you roast in a roasting pan in the oven, or you saute in a saute pan on a stove. It sounds like he's calling for you to roast in a saute pan on a stove -- right? I don't now how else you'd keep adding carrot juice and cooking it down. Any tips for roasting in a saute pan on the stove? And what's the difference between roasting and sauteeing when it's done on a stove? Thanks for any insight you could provide.
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