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  1. Sides seem pretty boring, no? I'm with the PP who suggested some ethnic twists. You can't beat Subway/Firehouse/etc on branding/advertising, so why try? Differentiate by offering a more interesting sandwich.
  2. Poor top browning is the main problem I have when "egg" baking. I've solved it by 1)brushing the tops of whatever I'm baking w/butter or egg wash to encourage coloring, 2)baking as high in the dome as possible; and 3)not opening the egg, if at all possible, while cooking. I "peek" through the top vent while standing on a stepstool & use a flashlight when necessary.
  3. On my "best of" list, Jacques Genin ranks pretty damn close to the top. His shop in the north Marais is mostly chocolates and fruit jellies, but he offers a select few pastries each day. His Paris-Brest is absolutely fantastic...see below, enjoyed back in April:
  4. Ginger & lemon zest, and a handful of ground almonds.
  5. Have you considered using a dehydrated cheddar powder? You can add cheese flavor & cheese solids without adding fresh cheese. Another "neat" option is to make a cheese/herb mixture and spoon/sprinkle it into the score after slashing the loaf. This can decrease the oven spring a bit and lead to some odd shapes, so you'll need to experiment to find out how much cheese, what shape score holds it best, etc. But I've seen plenty of cheese-topped boules filled in this fashion.
  6. Agree that a crumb crust is nice w/coconut cream. Find some coconut wafer cookies/sables/sandies and use those. No need to stress over a pie crust when a crumb crust will do. Murray makes a scalloped, round coconut cookie (the kind with a hole in the middle) that would make a nice coconut crust. Or make your own coconut sables and crumble them up. Or make a press-in-the-pan tart crust, which is way easier than rolled-out pie crust.
  7. I'm at the other end of the spectrum...I am within a short walk of the lower Mississippi River, where my drinking water is sourced. The river has something like 300,000 cubit feet per second of freshwater rolling on by; up to 700,000 when it is in full flood. Rainfall averages about 60 inches/annually. Most of my concerns are related to keeping water OUT of the garden (raised beds, contouring) and to mitigating flood risk. I do have low-flow toilets ('cause you can't buy any other kind), and two separate water meters: one for the interior, which is used to calculate my sewer treatment charges, and another for irrigation/outside (no wastewater charges on that useage). Minimum water use charges are pegged at $10/mo; my household uses about $30/mo, exclusive of wastewater/sewer charges. Soaker hoses water the raised beds & landscaping, when necessary.
  8. No, you can mail-order from various companies selling US wild-caught shrimp. You can also look very carefully at the frozen stuff at Safeway, etc--some wild-caught US landed frozen shrimp is indeed available at mass market retailers. Five-pound "block" peeled, frozen wild-caught shrimp are sold all over the country.
  9. Peppers freely cross-pollinate and give rise to variants, especially in climates where the plants survive for several years. Variant plants were always springing up in my compost heap; I'd move them to the garden and get all sorts of color & shape novelties. So your search for an identical pepper elsewhere in the world or an English name is probably fruitless. You're looking at a local pepper, grown and sustained by people who like it. Why assume that an identical pepper exists anywhere else?
  10. No bain marie...way too fussy for me in the early AM. I make the shakshuka sauce in big batches, then portion it and freeze. I defrost it in the microwave, then spread it in a skillet & add a handful of chopped spinach/kale and a scattering of sheep's milk feta, make a few dents for the egg(s), and cook over gentle heat. When the sauce starts to bubble around the edges, I cover the skillet. About 7-10 minutes, depending on heat & egg size. For florentine, I saute a little chopped onion, then splash in some cream...when the cream starts to bubble, add torn spinach, nutmeg, white pepper, and make a few dents for the eggs. Cook until spinach wilts and egg is as done as you'd like. I did this in the oven for a while, but I kept over cooking the yolks. Stovetop means I can still have a runny, dippable yolk. Covered skillet seems to help me get set whites and runny yolk.
  11. I make shakshuka all the time, but I do it on the stovetop and not the oven. Ditto for eggs florentine: I think the texture is better when cooked on stovetop; I've had trouble getting the whites & yolks done just right in the oven. Skillet & a glass lid allow me to see exactly when the eggs are perfect.
  12. Have you seen them growing on a plant? If so, some botanical characteristics can narrow down the species to which the chile belongs. Is the pepper upward facing or does it grow downward? What does the flower look like? Can you show a photo of a chile cut in half (cross section)?
  13. By coincidence, I saw the pizza oven thingy at Williams Sonoma just yesterday....it doesn't look so great, in person. Slot for the pizza is pretty narrow, so if you have irregular or tall toppings, they will be way too close to the element. Stone is on the small side, so you're either making 10" pizzas, or the edges may bubble over and spill out (esp w/liquidy toppings and a poorly formed edge).
  14. Here's an online source for wild-caught, landed in LA shrimp... http://www.cajungrocer.com/fresh-foods-gulf-shrimp-c-1_15_35.html Not cheap, but priced similar to good beef. I'd rather have 8 oz shrimp than a similarly sized steak any day.
  15. Yet another reason to insist on wild-caught shrimp....currently about $4/lb from local fishermen in my area, yet I still see frozen, imported shrimp at my local WalMart. Someone must be buying them, or they wouldn't continue to appear in the freezer case.
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