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Everything posted by muichoi

  1. I'm not sure if your Haagen-Dazs is the same as what we get, but if it is it is massively overrated!
  2. One and a half years is not a long time! I think I started to get pretty good after fifteen years or so. 99 cookbooks out of a hundred are worse than useless-but cook every recipe that's practical from Richard Olney's Simple French Food, then repeat the ones you love. Pretty soon you will understand the principles of cooking and know how to cook most things. Extravagant praise for a book, but richly deserved.
  3. Spot on, Jon. It's just a nice place, fairly priced. Curiously I had lunch(in a very full restaurant)here the day after lunch at Theo Randall. Randall was the same price, superior in every way and empty.
  4. I'm a great believer in the pressure cooker, but not for stock. It always comes out cloudy and gluey.
  5. I hate serrated knives. Best of all is an electric slicing machine.
  6. If you have a powerful grinder ox cheek put twice through the coarse disc makes a great well-done burger.
  7. I didn't eat tofu-or bean curd, the term I much prefer, until I was twenty or so. I'm very keen now, though, in all its forms, particularly home-made soft beancurd and the various dried products. It does need meat to be at best in general, though.
  8. muichoi


    More basic than that, I think-the remedy to an excessively salty dish is acid, and vice versa. What's not addressed here is the wine that we drink with the food, and very often it's the wine that should supply most of the acidity.
  9. I suspect you mean hot rather than spicy, Kent. For spicy Indian cuisines have few competitors.
  10. I didn't know they had a restaurant here-I spent some happy weeks here a long time ago!
  11. Yes. and a pinch of salt is a good idea, as suggested above. One of the biggest and most repeated recipe lies is 'fry the onions for a few minutes until soft'. The great Richard Olney is honest, routinely specifying a half-hour.
  12. Cook them under cover until completely melted-about 45 minutes. No need to stir more than once or twice. then turn up the heat and brown while stirring. This should only take five minutes. i once bought a can of fried onions, thinking this was a good idea. They had barely been cooked at all and were still crunchy. What a missed opportunity.
  13. muichoi


    I think in the case of butter you're just used to the rancid taste-and actually nearly all salted butter tastes rancid anyway.
  14. I certainly shan't darken his door again. Mind you his cooking is idiotic so it's no great hardship.
  15. The wide and execrable choice was probably down to the usage of the mass central suppliers such as 3663 ? ← Actually, I suspect the raw materials were not bad. It was the sheer cluelessness-lots of fantastically ill-assimilated orientalisms of course, for a touch of the exotic-of the cooking that was shocking.
  16. Only a few covers at lunch yesterday, but the set menu here is one of London's best current bargains at £25 for three courses. Unimpeachable tagliatelle, as good as can be found in London, with beautifully judged porcini and mushroom sauce, roasted skate with vegetables, vanilla ice cream with espresso may not read very excitingly but it was all exactly as it should have been and deeply pleasing. The service is well-meaning though not exceptionally smooth, and the room is typical modern palace hotel dining room. The only jarring note is the awful muzak, which really needs to be turned off.
  17. A good lunch here today-at the level of a good Trattoria or excellent home cook, and a nice feel to the place. Trippa alla Romana would have been tremendous with imported tripe but I don't know if that's allowed-the English is far too soft owing to its processing. Artichoke and sweetbreads were only fairly well fried, Brawn was excellent, Risotto with Barolo was 95%-great flavour, a little too much free liquid, Pork chop and beans with pork rind very nicely done. Some thought has gone into the wine list. Fairly priced, too, and recommended.
  18. A very thoughtful post, food1, and I agree with everything you say. It's rather a shock to find everything so expensive in mainland Europe now, but three-star places in France have never been afraid to be expensive. There is something in the British psyche which seems to crave as much choice as possible. I suppose this is down to the faddy eating in which we've always indulged-an assurance that we will be able to have only what pleases us precisely. I was at an absurd 'gastropub'in Oxfordshire recently, incidentally much praised by Jan Moir, at which there were about thirty choices at each course. Needless to say everything was execrable, but the very fact of that wide choice seems to make it a firm favourite with locals.
  19. I disagree. It may be that you don't like it, but that is a different matter.
  20. Which 'real' farmer's market, joesan? all the ones I've been to are crap. Booths is a good stall and both butchers can be excellent if you know exactly what you want. Brindisa really annoys me-how can they charge so much? I suppose because people have no idea of real prices, a realisation which sadly drives so much of the market.
  21. All those cigarettes! better days, I fear.
  22. I enjoy and am pretty knowledgeable about all the world's major cuisines. I hate it when they are mixed together, though, I'm very bored by it and it is rarely done well, particularly in Europe. Food is rather like art, literature and music-to be good it needs lots of rules, even if they seem arbitrarily imposed.
  23. I find it works much better if you toss the nuts with a couple of spoonsful of water first-much more even, with the occosional stir.
  24. It is simply not possible to drink coffee with cheese.
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