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Everything posted by rickster

  1. To confuse matters further, I read something somewhere once that said that Dufour, while an excellent product, was not a true puff pastry dough. Maybe it has something to do with the production process? When you say that they use the same butter as restaurants, do you mean Plugra? because that is a lower water butter vs. say a Land o Lakes.
  2. I think the answer is that there is an optimum amount of water in butter to be used for puff pastry/croissant dough, etc., and most American store butter has too high a water content. While you need water for steam, too much water in the butter means that same of it leaches into the dough before it is converted to steam, makes the layers soggy and prevents an optimum rise. This is just a matter of degree-it still puffs, just not as well as a low water butter.
  3. Agreed as to the ratings, but I always thought it was fairly complete in listing certain types of restaurants that had been open for a period of time. I actually mentioned it because of a thread on the NJ board about why restaurants do not get listed and was surprised to find a similar case locally.
  4. My opinion of Mediterraneo is about the same as yours. I did have a good meal this past weekend in Stamford at a place called Wish, which is near the Palace Theater. It was my first visit and when I got home, I checked the Zagat guide to see what they said about it and it was not listed. This seems odd, since it is a "high end" restaurant and has been around for probably 4-5 years.
  5. I'd agree with the above. The immersion blender is probably the least used piece of equipment in my kitchen. Having said that, I seem to remember the Bamix being highly recommended vs. the Krups/Braun type of blender in some older threads here.
  6. They did a pilot episode about 2 years ago. I think one or two more were filmed but I'm not sure they were ever shown, since the response to the first one was so poor.
  7. And what do they put in it to make it squeezable?
  8. Lard is supposed to be particularly good in making flaky pie crusts, although I tried it once and prefer butter. The lard I used (Armour, I think) had a weird granulated texture, like little lumps in the lard, which made me think that it was old or had something wrong with it.
  9. 23 C is about 73 F which should not be too hot. I am no expert on this but I still wonder if it is something to do with the type of chocoate you are using. Could you test this using a different brand, one of the ones mentioned on one of the chocolate threads here?
  10. Thanks for all the advice. It's not just finding the websites-lots of restaurants have websites-it's your opinions that provide the real benefits.
  11. rickster


    One note of caution. I bought a GE model with the ceramic cooktop about 2 1/2 years ago and have seen wear on the finish of the burner I use the most. I've also seen it on another GE unit at a home I visited. I also managed to scrub a patch of the pebbled finish off one of the burners using the ceramic cleaner supplied by GE.
  12. I'd suggest using a single edged razor blade. Less awkward to manipulate than a knife or lame.
  13. Will be touring Nova Scotia in early July and would appreciate any dining recommendations for Halifax and anywhere else in Nova Scotia. Any and all types of restaurants and price ranges are OK. I did a search and came up with Chives and Maple, but heard elsewhere that Maple closed. Thanks.
  14. I had the Firesteed last weekend for the first time and it got a thumbs up from several people. Even cheaper and OK too is the Yellowtail Shiraz. The Trimbach Pinot Gris is in the $16-18 range in NY/CT the last time I had it.
  15. You might want to check out today's NY Times wine column, linked to in the Food Media section (NY Times Digest). They taste and review $10 and under red wines.
  16. rickster

    wines for weddings

    You would probably get a better response if you moved this to the Wine board.
  17. Haven't been to L'Escale yet, but based on the reviews and the comparative pricing of other restaurants in the area, I'd expect the pricing to be in the $25-$35 or higher per entree.
  18. I think in Carol Field's The Italian Baker she suggests that a very wet dough is crucial to getting large holes, almost "uncomfortably" wet. So you might try more water than called for in the directions, or kneading in less flour.
  19. rickster

    Frozen Pizza

    When I was a teenager growing up in Northern NJ, Tree Tavern was my standard frozen pizza. I moved to CT years ago, where I've never seen it, but last month on a visit to south/central NJ I saw it in a supermarket. I'm pretty sure it was a Shop-Rite in Manchester Twp. but I was in several supermarkets in the area so I'm not 100% sure.
  20. I know a number of Americans who will not buy Australian lamb, claiming it has a stronger, more muttony taste than American lamb.
  21. I don't know if Jacques Torres Food TV recipe is the same as the one in his Desert Circus book, but the Dessert Circus one is the best I'e found and produces excellent results. Bernabuams Pie and Pastry Bible one was the worst, very spongy like a cheap commercial croissant.
  22. I've tried 2 different types of silicon molds and 2 different recipes (Silverton's was one of them)and been very disappointed in the results. The crust is rubbery/gummy and they tend to cave in once unmolded. I haven't tried the extra long baking though. It's hard to justify the expense of copper molds though unless you are a real fan of these.
  23. As an amateur baker, I haven't heard the term dry butter in the US, but I do know that some butters like Plugra are marketed as having a higher butterfat content/less water than regular supermaket brands and are better suited for baking appliactions.
  24. The best source for Plugra, at least in the Northeast, is Trader Joe's which sells it at $2.99 for a 1 pound block.
  25. Thanks. I have been to Baang several years ago and was not impressed, but have heard good things about the others you mentioned. I have also seen good reivews of a new restaurant called L'escale. Appreantly very expensive in the Rebecca's range. I hope to get there sometime over the summer as well as try some of your recommendations.
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