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Adrienne Carmack

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Posts posted by Adrienne Carmack

  1. That's a great idea. I have some friends who are big red wine lovers who are expecting their first and I think I will try to do the same, with some red instead of a port, probably. I'll track this topic and look forward to hearing the advice.

  2. Here's my first effort with pictures (several steps later)...

    Tonight was pizza. My husband doesn't like veggies on his and I love them, so he got pepperoni and I got shallots, sweet red peppers, and oyster mushrooms (what looked good in the market).



    The pic of the pepperoni pizza didn't upload for some reason.

    I was experimenting with the crust. I always find it annoying and difficult to get the dough onto the pizza stone without disrupting it, so I tried making mine in a square stoneware dish and Tony's in a deep dish pie plate placed on a pre-warmed pizza stone. It was easier to spread the crust in the stoneware but his turned out with crispier crusts.

  3. Here's my report back:

    Try any (or all) of the following:

    1) If you have one, use a stainless steel rather than Teflon pan.

    Tried my stainless steel pan - scum was pretty much the same and a bit harder to clean out.

    2) Use a flame tamer. This will definitely slow down the process, but it will eliminate sticking either totally or to a large extent. If you don't have one, you can improvise by putting a cast iron pan or tava between stovetop and pan.

    Unfortunately, my stove is electric. I tried to get my landlord to upgrade us to gas when we got our new stove, but we were told the pipes were too old.

    3) Do your preliminary heating of the milk in a glass container in the microwave. Then add spices, tea, whatever and finish it off stovetop. The milk has less overall time in contact with the bottom of the hot pan = less overall sticking.

    Tried this - heated it until the milk was steaming - same scum.

    I liked all of your advice, but the two most practical for me didn't work :sad: . I guess that's why people scald milk in a double boiler. But I still don't understand why they were able to bring cold milk (whole mixed 1/2 with water) to a boil in India without it burning while I can't bring skim milk to a boil.

    Maybe I will try using a little water to make the tea and then just add hot milk from the microwave. I don't want to ruin my Teflon pans!

  4. The best Cuban food anywhere near the airport is Versailles, but the atmosphere is not one I would call attractive. If you really want Cuban, this is probably the best place. There is good Cuban on the beach, but probably very inconvenient on a Friday night when traveling from the airport to Key Largo. The address is 3555 SW Eighth St.

    Of the restaurants in Miami I consider great, the closest two are probably the Palme d'Or in the Biltmore Hotel and Azul. Both will probably be 20-30 minutes from the airport if traffic is not bad. The Palme d'Or is French, small plates, an excellent restaurant. Azul is fantastic and will probably be twice as much as the Palme d'Or, but well worth it if you want to spend it. Both are in beautiful hotels and locations.

    The addresses are:

    500 Brickell Key Dr - Azul

    1200 Anastasia Ave - Palme d'Or


  5. Once I worked up the nerve to offer my sister a bowl of my famous (around here, anyway) cheddar cheese grits.  "Grits?" she scowled.  "I'm not from the South!" was her indignant reply.  You would have thought I was trying to poison her or something.   Sure, I could have argued that grits are actually made from corn, a grain that typically is grown NORTH of the Mason-Dixon Line, but I didn't bother.

    Confession: I eat my grits with milk, honey and dried fruit for breakfast most mornings. I'm sure I'll be vilified by both Southerners and Italians.


    I eat mine with butter and sugar. Never did like cheese grits... But I do like them with a little bacon (if I'm not having the sweet version). Actually, I was taught to eat rice that way too. And tortillas (microwaved with butter and sugar). Yeah, I realize that is pretty gross. But it was good when I was a kid and the tortillas were the freshest thing in the fridge. :smile:

    Actually, there's a nouvelle Southern restaurant, if you will, in Miami that serves a delicious appetizer of grits with shrimp and truffle oil. The only thing their menu is missing is fried okra...

  6. I moved directly from Texas to Boston for college, and had never lived anywhere else so was always surprised when I realized something I thought was common knowledge (or common language) wasn't. I worked with others who loved to cook, so one day I came in and proudly exclaimed that I had made my first chicken fried steak since I'd moved away from home and that it had turned out quite good.

    When I described the recipe, though, everyone at work kept asking me where the chicken was?

  7. If you're a purist, you may not like this idea, but there is a very tasty and popular cookie recipe I've made a few times (came out of a cooking magazine). The dough is wrapped around an Andes mint. Called Christmas package or surprise cookies or something like that - they're rectangular (like the mint) and the recipe suggests drizzling melted chocolate on the top in the shape of a bow.

  8. I searched for this, and found lots of threads about knife sharpening in general and some on specific places to go in some towns, but none for South Florida.

    So, who knows where to go in Miami or Fort Lauderdale for good knife sharpening? I have a beautiful set of Sabatier knives, and I've been complaining that I need them sharpened for months. We asked the butchers at Whole Foods and the Fresh Market but they said they can't do it.

  9. I forgot to mention the noodles were soba. This was my first time cooking them. So I proceed to open the packet and dump it straight into the boiling water. And then I saw that there were three bundles of noodles, each wrapped with a little strip of paper in the middle. It was a mad rush to grab the bundles out with my tongs and pull the paper off, but it worked.

  10. Things I can't live without:


    mini-measuring spoons


    variety of wooden spoons

    GOOD tongs (the kind that lock)

    set of round cookie cutters from 1.5" to 3.8750" with one smooth side and one

    scalloped side

    melon baller (used it today to seed a cucumber)

    apple corer (so fast)

    offset spatula

    mallet with a smooth side

    lots of little containers for spices and cruets for oils, vinegars, and vanilla

    Things I use occasionally:

    olive pitter

    juicer (for most purposes, a hand works fine)

    olive getter-out-of-jar thing (a little scoop with holes in it)

    egg slicer (good for mushrooms)

    Things I got but rarely or never use:

    tea bag squeezer

    fish turner

    mini salt and pepper shakers (cute for dinner parties, but who uses pre-ground pepper? I suppose I could grind some fresh and put it into the shakers right before dinner)

    I love to browse the little section of all these things at Crate and Barrel. They have all kinds of ...

  11. I've been reading this post with envy all week, wishing I had time to cook a real meal. Finally, today. Just something quick and simple for my husband and I. I'm cooking out of Ted Allen's cookbook, which, incidentally, I bought at the same time I bought Turning the Tables (and later learned of eGullet).

    We had tuna tartare and sesame peanut noodles. The tuna was amazingly easy and tasted just like the stuff I've had at great restaurants (which makes sense, I guess, if you're both using great tuna). It was so soft and delicious. Mmmmm... I really can't believe it turned out so good. I guess the quote I have at the bottom is even more true than I thought.

    And the noodles with it were great. I served the two together from the cookbook cause they had the same seasonings and they turned out to be a great pair. But in the cookbook he recommends wines with each dish, and one he rec'd for the tuna was a "very dry Riesling" and, for the noodles, a Riesling Kabinett. We happened to have a 2004 Oppenheimer Schloss Bacchus Kabinett on hand, so tried it with this. Delicious with both! The initally sweet Kabinett actually tasted more dry with the food.

    Dinner was a storebought lime ricotta poundcake, which wasn't quite as good as it sounded, but good enough considering. It also happened to go well with the wine and brought out some citrus flavors.

    Tomorrow, we're having my Hungarian pot roast (a recipe from a friend's Hungarian mother) because we have a 1992 Portuguese red that we need to drink and my husband thought the roast would be perfect. We'll see...

  12. ...  look for some good fresh roasted aged Sumatran or other aged Indonesians (not easy to find it fresh roasted in the US but I'm sure its out there).

    Thanks - I'd done a search before I posted but didn't find the other thread. But no one in that thread seemed to wonder who's idea it was to try the coffee beans in the excrement in the first place...

    Anyways, I've recently been ordering my coffee online from a company that roasts the beans to order and they have a "Sumatra Mandheling" - I haven't tried it yet. How do I know if it's an aged Sumatran?

    It sounds like it's a coffee worth tasting if it's offered to me, but not worth choosing over the other perfectly brewed $10-15 cups at the same restaurants.

  13. My husband's a wine broker and they ship all of their wines direct to customers. I don't know what the laws are, but they can only ship to some states. Also, in some states, people receive their wine within days, but others (including Florida, where we live), it takes 4 weeks because of some sort of processing they have to go through. I don't know if the rules are different for companies such as his than for individuals like us.

    Regardless, we're just going to carry a few bottles of wine for gifts (and drinking) on the plane when we fly back to Texas for the holidays.

  14. I can't seem to stop wondering about this coffee. It keeps coming up in my conversations and again today in one of the other eGullet forums.

    What is the deal with that coffee that is supposedly the most exclusive beverage in the world, as it can only be enjoyed AFTER it has been eaten and "processed" by some marsupial? Has anyone tried this? Is it really that great (I've seen it in a restaurant for about $40 for one cup)? What type of magic, exactly, occurs in the marsupial's digestive system? And who thought of trying the coffee beans from the pile of waste in the first place?

  15. Florida has a ton of trendy restaurants - and if that's where you want to eat, this might be what you get. But there are so many other fantastic restaurants here. Even new ones, from hole-in-the-wall to expensive, South Beach places. For example, Vix is relatively new, and the chef has created a fantastic menu with awesome food based on his world travels and time on the "spice boat" (whatever that is, but it sounds cool). But the presentations are unique and certainly it could qualify as a trend-setter - a trend I would definitely follow with the only limitation being my budget.

    There is GREAT food here, of course, given our climate and location. The only macadamia-crusted dish I've had here is a macadamia-crusted snapper I made, which was delicious because I was able to buy a snapper caught the day before from my nearby fish market.

    Well - here is the rub. I took a look at Vix on the internet (FWIW - it's in a Hyatt hotel). It has received mixed reviews. From the looks of the menu - you're talking about $200-300 for a couple assuming some modest alcohol intake. Now in that price range - it has some pretty serious competition in terms of attracting my dining dollar ($200-300 is about what you'd spend at most top restaurants in the US - excluding perhaps the handful of most expensive restaurants in the US - like Per Se or Alain Ducasse). So is it in the top 100 - or even the top 500 in the US? Robyn

    Yeah, like I said, the limiting factor for my enjoying Vix is my budget. But I think the prices are about the same as a lot of South Beach restaurants. I was able to enjoy it twice during Spice Month - $20 for a great 3-course lunch. And I had a fantastic (expensive) dinner there where we all went overboard and had an appetizer, a ceviche (awesome ceviches), an entree, and desserts. By the way, they carry that $40 cup of coffee you may have heard about. Oh, and the dinner included a very interesting palate "invigorator." Definitely excellent food, can't compare to Per Se or Alain Ducasse - haven't tried them yet.

  16. Florida has a ton of trendy restaurants - and if that's where you want to eat, this might be what you get. But there are so many other fantastic restaurants here. Even new ones, from hole-in-the-wall to expensive, South Beach places. For example, Vix is relatively new, and the chef has created a fantastic menu with awesome food based on his world travels and time on the "spice boat" (whatever that is, but it sounds cool). But the presentations are unique and certainly it could qualify as a trend-setter - a trend I would definitely follow with the only limitation being my budget.

    There is GREAT food here, of course, given our climate and location. The only macadamia-crusted dish I've had here is a macadamia-crusted snapper I made, which was delicious because I was able to buy a snapper caught the day before from my nearby fish market.

  17. Has in utero exposure to nuts been correlated with nut allergies in children? I would have expected the reverse, but what do I know?

    I did a quick search on pubmed and it seems that no one really knows the answer yet. A recent article reviewing what's known about food allergies concluded that we don't know why some people have them and that no general recommendations for avoiding food allergies can be made. There was a recent study suggesting that kids who show signs of an allergy when they are very young may have developed the allergy as a response to an in utero exposure, but this certainly doesn't mean that all kids exposed in utero will have the allergy or that the kids who did have the allergies wouldn't have developed them later on anyways if they hadn't been exposed in utero.

    So it seems we don't really know the answer yet. In the meantime, I plan to keep taking my folic acid and to enjoy a balanced diet with everything in moderation. And if I had a family history of nut allergies, I probably would avoid them - though that's not based on any medical evidence that I'm aware of, just what seems logical to me. But I suppose that when the day comes that I have the responsibility for providing all of the nutrition for another human being, I'll feel better avoiding the "highly recommended" foods as well.

  18. What a great forum! I am actually having a chai tea problem someone may be able to help with. Since I was in India in September, I've been trying to recreate the chai tea I had there. I actually have the taste about where I like it (I'm definitely going to try the fresh ginger and peppercorns, though), but the problem I'm having is that something (milk sugars?) always burns on the bottom of the pan, no matter whether I heat it fast or slow, stir a lot or a little, or add the sugar early or late. The burn scum on the bottom actually doesn't seem to affect the taste of the tea, but it's a pain to clean!

    The way I'm making it is adapted from the way they showed me in Bhopal. I bring skim milk to a boil (they used half water and half whole milk, but I drink skim and when I tried half water with it, it tasted like nothing - using all skim milk is just creamy enough), then add my mix of sugar and crushed cardamom pods (brought home from India) and cinnamon, and the tea (which I also brought home from India). Then when the color gets "right," I strain it. I use a Teflon coated pot.

    The only major differences in the way I do it and the way I was shown in Bhopal is that they used the whole, unpasteurized milk, and they probably used a copper pot. I really like making it with the skim milk because I like the consistency and because it's the only dairy product I use enough of to be able to have it on hand all the time.

    Any suggestions?

  19. So I already mentioned Captain Jim's in the "where else for stone crabs" forum.

    There are two other really great places near my neighborhood that I find myself returning to all the time. One is Burrito's, on 125th and NE 8th Ave. I'm a native Texan and miss Tex-Mex, but this comes close to fulfilling those needs. It's Yucatan style Mexican food, cooked on a grill right in front of you, and it is GOOD. The cochinita pibil, apparently a traditional type of Yucatan pork, is fabulous, especially in the huge burrito Maya. The tamales are great (coming from someone who grew up eating tamales cooked by Mama Ruben in Texas) and the guacamole is some of the best I've ever had. I try to make my guacamole at home taste like theirs, but haven't quite gotten it right yet. They have enchiladas de mole as a special most days, which is incredible.

    Another awesome place is Frankie's, on US1 and NE 80 something. It's a sub shop. They make everything, even the barbecue sauce, from scratch there. The subs are awesome. They have great phillies and one of my personal favorites is the mulberry - a sub with roasted pork (roasted there, of course) with some spinach, garlic, and provolone. And I usually have them add sauteed mushrooms.

    My only complaint is that ALL THREE of these places are closed on Sundays! (But maybe that's a good thing, because it's my one consistent chance to go somewhere else.)

  20. A FANTASTIC place for any seafood - great, fresh, and affordable - is Captain Jim's in North Miami. It's on W Dixie Hwy around NE 130th something (on the West side). They do wholesale but also have a small restaurant (and a recently-opened sushi bar). You can also buy fresh fish to take home and cook.

    This is the only place I've found in Miami where they will gladly sell me just one stone crab claw if that's all I want as an appetizer. The stone crabs are just as fresh and delicious as the ones I've had at Joe's and various other places on the beach and in the keys. AND they're less expensive - still up there, but I think it's around $19 a pound for large claws. You can buy them from the market to take home or enjoy them in the restaurant.

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