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Everything posted by Gruzia

  1. Are you sure the pastries were truly pastries? That first picture looks like a type of khatchapuri made with layers of dough similar to filo. Also, the churchkhela is making me salivate! My family is from Kabuleti and so while I've been to Georgia quite a few times, I've never traveled around - I'm really enjoying this post! Also, as a side note - the label on the ice cream (it looks to be in Ukrainian) also includes the warning "Stop Narcotics!" which is amusing not just in its placement on ice cream but in the context of that leafy background which looks similar to marijuana. Also - just got the association between the narcotics and poppy seeds - is it a warning that it may give you a false positive narcotic test or a suggestion of a more law abiding use for poppies?
  2. I was born in Ukraine and this is a very familiar cake to me - I've never made it but have watched it being made and have eaten it a lot! The dough layers should be thin and crisp, like a sweet cracker tasting strongly of honey. It is true - the longer the cake sits in the fridge, the better the flavors get integrated with each other and the dough softens into the filling. The trick is not to make this too sweet, otherwise too cloying in taste.
  3. Amazon shows the book coming out next Feb. Do you have an advanced copy? How practical is it for daily cooking? Is it vegetarian friendly? Amazon shows the book coming out next Feb. Do you have an advanced copy? How practical is it for daily cooking? Is it vegetarian friendly? I'll jump in and answer some of this 1. The book is already out in UK so I just ordered it through Amazon.co.uk site 2. What I love about it is the fact that it is so practical for everyday cooking - the recipes are fairly easy and there's not much in terms of exotica in the ingredient lists. 3. Lots of vegetarian recipes or mentions of modifying for vegetarians.
  4. I second the "Every Grain of Rice" The other book that I've really enjoyed cooking out of has been Vietnamese Home Cooking.
  5. The book is OK but the recipes are fairly simple and I suspect will suffer if one doesnt have access to the kind of fresh-from-the-farm produce she does. Perhaps I'd be more excited if I lived in SanFran but here in Tampa, good quality produce is not always easily found
  6. I may be in the minority and, granted, perhaps I need to make a few more dishes from this book for a true judgement but so far, I've made three dishes out of the book: chicken in tart garlic sauce - needed to add extra garlic and lime juice saucy spiced meat and potatoes - was pretty plain and so had to add a few dollops of roasted chilly sauce from Vietnamese Home Cooking minced chicken with galangal and tomato - made this two weeks ago and we still havent eaten it True, only three dishes, but not one was an unqualified success without intervention on my part. Not sure yet about this book.
  7. Yes - I was born in Ukraine but spent a fair bit of childhood in Georgia due to having my mother's family there and also the whole Chernobyl thing. It seems that goggle-moggle was no stranger there, too! The other thing that my Mother tried on me was a horrible elixir of onion juice and honey. Ugh.
  8. i didnt realize goggle-moggle was such a universal torture I have PTSD from childhood when I hear that name as this was the trusted cure-all in Ukraine where I grew up!
  9. Hey, I was recently introduced to this sharpener http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU=14907&src=PriceGrabber&cam=Products&kw=14907 called Vulkanus Knife sharpener. Anyone used this before? Will it damage my knives? thanks
  10. In Tampa, we had the deep fried twinkie (didn't try), deep fried oreos (tried and loved) and deep fried butter which was surprisingly quite yummy! I think they take a frozen little nugget of salted butter, roll it in some cinnamon, then drop it into a thick batter and fry it. When you get it, it's dusted in powdered sugar and crispy on the outside with the butter liquid inside. It's a nice shot of salty sweet fat
  11. You do have to give them credit - there are three indian cooking shows, a chinese show, the show focusing on drinks (cant remember the name of this of hand) - all these are a fresh change from Food Network. Yeah there's a lot of pretentious overproduced crap but having another choice in cooking channels is still better than having none.
  12. Bern's is overpriced, and very, very overrated. The majority of the other restaurants are chains and nothing special (mitchell's, the palm). Ceviche's is also pretty mediocre. Can't speak of Six Tables since never been there, but have heard good things about it. Also, Vizcaya - been there and it's worth a visit. Cafe Ponte in clearwater is supposed to be good though have not been there personally. Actually, the best place I've been to in the two years of living in Tampa, has, so far, been a NY style pizzeria called Paci's on S. Dale Mabry. It's amazing - everything is made from scratch, the pizza is thin-crust and super crispy with just the right amount of cheese and the tomato sauce is fresh and tangy. And they have a nice selection of Brooklyn Brewery beers.
  13. i first read the news this morning in the Food Section blog and must say that I was quite shocked. I, like many others, think that Gourmet was starting to find it's niche and voice. I consistently liked its articles more than those in BA. Additionally, I liked how they started to try to do things diferently from the food norm - with the photography, the content. As far as the recipes - with some commenting that they were too complicated: I subscribe to five - well, I guess, now, four- magazines- Saveur, Bon Appetit, Food&Wine and Cooking Light and really, make very few of the recipes featured in the magazines. They serve more as reporting of trends, inspiration and teaching of different techniques than anything else. It was nice to have a magazine not give the same old easy dish recipe. It is sad that Gourmet has been shut down, particularly in a market where there are so many magazines which are aimed at the more "ordinary" American with simple recipes, endless explanations of beginner skill sets, etc. Of course, on the bright side, i can use future subsciption money toward finally getting Gastronomica....
  14. So this is a little belated as it relates to one of the first episodes (the one with the horrible gluten stuffed pepper). I got the French Laundry cookbook a week a go and noticed something interesting. Refer to the recipe with the chard wrapped duck with creamed corn. If anyone has the book, look at the picture. Look familiar? Say with lamb instead of duck? I forget the name if the guy who did it but he is the cocky, Italian looking one from, I think, Miami, who boasted that he's opened several successful restaurants. A bit disappointed - where's the originality? I mean, it's one thing to use the dish as an inspiration for something else but other than the protein substitution, it looked like the same exact thing, right down to the sides!
  15. I'll nominate Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless - it's the sort of book that you turn to for easy week night meals and the flavors are outstanding - bright, savory and satisfying. I've not made a recipe out of here that I didn't love.
  16. How about Manresa? It's a bit out of the city and we'd have to rent a car but has anyone been there? Worth the drive?
  17. So, In a few short weeks, I will be escaping the culinary wasteland that is Tampa, FL and coming to partake in the joys of SanFran. However, the choices are somewhat overwhelming and so I need some help. I will be visiting for about seven days, and have alloted three budget busting meals for myself. Of course, I made the mistake of leafing through the Michelin guide and now have more options than I know what to do with. So, if you could only do three for dinner, which of these restaurants would you pick? I don't have culinary restrictions except that I dont eat pork. Love Japanese food and sushi/crudo type dishes, vegetables when inspired and creative, and, of course, I appreciate a really fine piece of meat. Here's the list: -Ame - read some reviews here and was thinking to do the sitting at the bar thing and order crudo -Canteen -Coi -Fleur de Lys -Koo sushi -Gary Danko -La Folie -Chez Panisse - requires a trip to Berkley and there's a lot of talk about it not being worth the hype, but so much history and influence that I feel almost shameful not going there -Michael Mina -Aqua If some of these are better for lunch, please let me know. Thank you!
  18. neither - moved down here from philly
  19. i'm not very familiar with the area - what is the name of the casino?
  20. So, what are your favorites for latin food in Tampa?
  21. No you are not wrong. I would say some places have creative dishes but not amazing. I ate at Carreta's Sat night for the first time. Some very nice food but this isn't NYC, Chicago or Las Vegas. Here is another nice restaurant on Clw beach. Bobby's Bistro http://www.bobbysbistro.com/menustart.html certainly not amazing but this is Clearwater. Finding good local fish done well is amazing to me with so many mediocre chain restaurants around. Hey I would take fresh fish or shell fish grill to perfection eaten on on a wood picnic table with the sights and smell of the Gulf as a back drop over a lot of over prepared meals. Do enjoy your stay. Let us know where you end up and how it was. ← I went on their website and they don't really have that many seafood options - is there a restaurant - even if it's just a shack - that focuses on freshly caught from Tampa bay area fish?
  22. it surprises me that there is so much negativity about five guys - i've eaten at several locations in philly, in manhattan, and st. pete florida and have to say I haven't been dissapointed once. And i love the fries and the fact that they have malt vinegar available to dip them into! As for grey patties - to be honest i don't generally let it sit around enough to really get a good look at the color but i don't think they sit on the grill long enough to brown all that much. and in any case, i'd much rather get a burger there than mcd's, wendy's and etc. i feel a lot more comofrtable about the quality of their ingredients than the usual fast food joints.
  23. has anyone ever tried their new york style cheesecake? it is my go-to cheesecake recipe - tangy, creamy - yum!
  24. Hi, I originally posted my question in Japan forum but it was suggested that it may be better handled here. I bought a left-handed traditional japanese knife - an usuba - while in Japan recently, of course in my excitement didn't properly check out the handle and upon coming home saw that there is a gap in the tang hole of the handle. Naturally, I was dismayed and worried that I made a bad purchase. Prawncarckers said that the only issue with the hole is hygiene and that I can fill it with resin. The question is - what type of resin?
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