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    Upstate NY
  1. As a new(ish) parent I think that this thread is very interesting. But I have to say that the children of EG forum members is probably a statistically skewed sample of what American children will eat. My kids also chow down on (raw) veggies and (cooked) fish. Although my 2 year old calls any kind of meat (including fish) a cheeseburgersandwich. I'm pretty sure he's never actually had a real cheese burger. I'm considering getting him some natto, Japanese kids like that, right?
  2. So... the day before yesterday I whipped up a pretty pleasant beurre blanc sauce. (It's amazing how much time you have on your hands when you ought to be studying for the bar exam ). There still more than 1/2 of it left over and I'm soliciting seafood suggestions to match it with. A couple of caveats: (1) I live in the Pacific NW, and while I often buy my shrimp from Florida, I prefer to get most of my fish/shellfish from closer to home. (2) My wife and I are trying to have a baby so all of the mercury-laden fish (tuna, shark, swordfish, marlin, etc..) are off the menu. (3) I made the sauce with a Vino Verde (about the opposite of California Chard), so it's a bit more piquant than your average beurre blanc. With that said, please send us any of your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks for your time everybody. Alamut
  3. alamut

    Hot weather cooking

    There's a lot of great ideas on this thread that I want to second. Ceviche, sushi, cold soups, salads, fruits (watermelon, feta, & mint!), just think of all the stuff you won't get a chance to eat in January. One thing that I wanted to weigh in was a great grilled pizza I got stole from a bobby flay cookbook that is a popular back yard treat. (1) sautee a big bunch of sliced onions with a sh*tload of butter until they are all nicely carmerlaized. (2) repeat the sautee with mushrooms -- this stovetop can be done in the early AM, and kept in the fridge for several days. (3) take store-bought flatbread, glaze it with evoo, top it with the sauteed mushrooms & onions and a generous crumble of blue cheese, grill it on a sheet of tin foil. Always fun.
  4. alamut

    Hanger Steak

    I've been talking with an organic beef man at our local farmers market in upstate NY about hanger steak. It's my all-time favorite cut of cow (I hear it's less en vogue than in the past few years, but food isn't fashion), but difficult to find. After a emailing back and forth, the farmer has told me his butcher has agreed to cut me one if I was willing to but a whole hanger (twist my arm). Here's the sticky wicket, although I love the hanger, I've only actually prepared it once before (and I felt it could have treated it better); I've mostly only had it in restaurants. So if anyone out there has any suggestions on preparation notions for a hanger I would be grateful for them. Also, I would love to get some wine accompanying suggestions (<$20/750ml) for the dinner. I had been thinking of Guigal’s Cotes du Rhone, but that’s more of default wine choice than one really thought through.
  5. Yes: Fiddleheads, ramps, and morels for that matter should be available in your New England. Fiddleheads can be found into Maine, and Canada. However, this wild vegetable trifecta of eastern North America are most common farther south in the Applacatian hills of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, & West Virgina. I'm pretty sure that fiddleheads are a pretty different creature than Korean fernbracken. I say this cautiously, because of my lack of familiarity with Seoul food. (who could get tired of that pun?). I think that fernbracken refers to the roots & stems of a very different plant generally purchased dried. Fiddleheads are the Baby shoots of the ostrich fern, and they look like a fern.
  6. Now is that rarest of seasons for those of us in the eastern united states when Fiddlehead, Ramps, and Morels are all in season. This evening I was shocked... schocked... to find that my humble supermarket had beautiful fresh fiddleheads in the produce section. I love these little wild baby ferns, but I have had only limmited success in preparing them. As that they are only around for 3 weeks of the year (at most) I'd like to get it right the one or two opportunites I will have to cook them before next year. So... is there anybody out there with suggestions on their preperation? Any fiddlehead (or ramps for that matter) related suggestions you can through my way would be most appreciated.
  7. It's tough to remember where in philly the bar was, we hit 3 that night and I was having club soda or rootbeer. Gawd am I ready foe lent to be done. My best geuss is that it was in "old city" someplace between sugarmom's & eulogy. I know that leaves a lot of ground to cover.
  8. Well, the seasons are (at freaking last) changing here in upstate NY, add to this that I chose (just like the past six years) to give up booze for lent, and I am certainly feeling the need for a good springtime drink (or two) coming up on Easter. Bar I stopped off in Philly (don't remember the name) was mixing drinks with cucumber infused water. This seemed like a great idea for the warmer months. I haven't yet tried to do this, but I did notice that it plays heavily into F&W's 2006 cocktail guide (FYI apparently Sujo is also "out" of fashion now, although probably not in Andong). Have any of you tried using cucumber water? Here's what I want to know: (1) Is it tasty? (2) After making the cuke water, how long can a jar/bottle of it sit in the fridge? (3) Can anybody recommend any published cocktails with it? (4) Anybody have any good cuke water drinks of their own genesis? (5) Any other good springtime cocktails that somebody who has gone 40 days without a drink would enjoy?
  9. About a month ago npr had this great report on a new study (can't remember who published it, sorry) on the distinctions between men's and women's food cravings. Much of it sounds like stuff we already knew, but what interested me so much was how we all use food to alter our moods. Women are much more likely to use food to comfort them why they feel badly. "Comfort foods," is by far a feminine idea, and for women these foods tend to be high sugar, high fat, low fiber, low protein: chocolates. Us boys, on the other hand, crave certain food not to rehabilitate our mood, but to celebrate when we are already feeling on top of the world. Guy's king of the mountain foods are not surprisingly, high protein, high fat, high carbohydrate, low sugar, low fiber: Steaks & pasta. Although apparently neither of us are getting enough fiber (shocker), the way we eat is very telling. It's not that men don't have "comfort foods" or women don’t celebrate using food, these are of course just average trends. Anyway I tend to celebrate with grilled hanger steak, pasta with bits of home cured bacon, the occasional White Castle, and bourbon.
  10. I actually just came home with a bottle of Dr. Frank's dry Riesling this afternoon. We live just a bit south of the finger lakes and have enjoyed a number of their wines. The finger lakes does a number of cool weather grapes quite well, but also produces loads of lower quality, super sweet schlock. I am also a big fan of the Hermann J. Wiemer that rlibkind mentioned as well as the Standing Stone, Ravines and McGregor labels. A note of caution for anybody thinking to try a Finger Lakes wine for the 1st time: The last couple winters have been very very cold, and have really pummeled the vines with several consecutive weeks of sub zero temperatures. Consequently wines from last couple vintages tend to be of both lesser quality and quality. This past winter has been unseasonably warm (New York warm) so the vines should recover, and this coming 2006 harvest should be much better than the 2004 or 2005. As to how they compare to European wines, most of them don’t stack up well, but a handful of them do. A couple of wines from Long Island and the Hudson river valley (Wolffer Rose & Millbrook Tocai Friulano to name a couple). My personal favorite NY wine is the McGregor "Black Russian Red" a blend of 2 totally unpronounceable grapes from the Black Sea area. They are they only vineyard in the country that grows these grapes (or so they claim). It’s a big powerful, kick in the teeth, Nebbiolo meets Malbec kind of dark inky wine. About $30.00 a bottle.
  11. I can't claim to have any higher education degrees in medicine/biochemistry, so I will of course defer to your accredited background Patrick. Most of the "reports" that I'm familiar with, are to be found in the popular media. University Of Kentucky Drs. have found a link between what a type of CJD and the some consumption of squirrel brains. Weisman, a behavioral neurologist who practices in rural western Kentucky, reported in the Lancet that he suspected that eating the brains of wild pigs/feral hogs might possibly lead to the same outcome. Again, not being a physician myself, I couldn't speak to any similarity or difference on squirrel/hog neurology that support or discredit his supposition. On Feb 17, 2004 the NY times reported that a new prion strain closely related to a strain of scrapie (a sheep disease?) was found in a French cow. I believe that prior to the discovery there had been a handful of cases (again based on the NY times reporting here) of persons with CJD type symptoms who had eaten rodent or pig brains, or simply raw meat, but not beef. Finally, I am aware that a 2001 report by the CDC concluded that scrapie had re-crossed the species barrier (transmissions from sheep, to cow, back to sheep), which had granted these strains the ability to infect humans. This is thought to lead as well to strains of BSE (mad cow) in sheep. I believe that the report urged (been quite a while) for the elimination of all forms of Spongiform Encephalitis and not simply BSE. As I stated, I do not pretend to have a medical degree or speak with any sort of accredited authority. My information comes simply from trying to stay abreast of the news. Neurologists, tenured professors of bio-chemistry, or researchers at the CDC should be encouraged to share their opinions here to correct any misrepresentations in the popular media.
  12. That's interesting. Could you point me to more information on the neurological diseases aquired by eating pork and sheep brains? ←
  13. Great food vacations, how can you even compare to a cruise ship or a crowded gringo beach? These are my 4 favorite places on the planet to eat. Grant it, I've never been to India, China, Japan, or South America. And I've excluded Western Europe (Italy, France, & Spain) from the list because, while I loved all of the eating I did there, I pretty much found what I though I had expected to find. The same can be said of Mexico (a cuisine every bit as wonderful as Italy). Just the notion of eating at any of these places awakens nostalgic hunger in me. Morocco: What is Moroccan food? It's not French, not Spanish, not Arabian; its; a little bit of all three. If there's an upside of colonialism it’s the amazing historical fusion of cuisine. Royal cities of Marrakech and Fez provide a perfect counterpoint to the coastal seafood based cuisines of Essouria and Tangier. Go, and get yourself invited to have dinner at somebody's house and have the time of your life. Thailand: It's way beyond pad thai my friends, way beyond. The formality of traditional mild royal cooking runs headlong into the oh so spicy popular foods. I was only there 6 days several years ago, so my knowledge is limited, but God help me, I want to go back. South Carolina: Really, I'm serious. The costal region (low country) running from Savanna GA, north to Charleston SC, and encompassing the area of Beaufort and St. Helena's Island is home to some of the finest food on the planet. Of course you got the fresh Atlantic seafood, but the quality of local produce and then renaissance that has taken place in the restaurant scene is simply amazing. Alaska: Alaskans are all (bless their hearts) more than a little crazy, but they do maintain a crazy passion for their foods. Forget the cruise ship and you'll discover that Alaska has the best uncultivated food on the planet. If you are looking to pick, gather, fish, or hunt your own dinner you'll never be happier. If your not so adventurous, you can simply order off the menu what others have caught.
  14. I would love to conduct an informal survey about foods we feel the need to avoid (perhaps sadly) for health reasons. Growing up in the South, scrambled brains & eggs was not an uncommon breakfast treat (best with Tabasco), and I have more recently come to enjoy Moroccan style lamb brains, today I steer clear of all brain material. There are a host of nasty degenerative neurological conditions that one might acquire from eating pork, veal, beef, lamb, or sheep brains (mad cow is just the tip of the iceberg). In reality I do a fairly good job of eating only livestock & poultry on a 100% vegetarian feed. Cows that eat ground up cow/chicken/pig/fish bits not only creep me out, but are great way to keep reinserting disease, parasites, & toxins back into a food chain with me at the top. I Chinese (Cantonese) friend of mine told me a few years back that his parents were forced to give up cooking duck fetuses (is there anything that the Chinese won't eat? And where do you even buy them?!) because of health concerns. So now I'm asking you what foods have you had to steer away from due to health concerns? Mercury rich Mahi Mahi? Biohazard British Beef? Kontaminated Kentucky Khicken?
  15. Sexy meals have 3 components that will sustain your and him for "round 2" in the sack and/or what ever else you have planned for the rest of the day. (1) Smallish manageable portions. Even men are susceptible to "cute food." They may generally be more effort to prepare, but they're just god-awful adorable. (2) High Protein & low sugar. Especially after a long trip and an energetic roll in the hay, a meal composed primarily of chocolates can lead to a blood sugar crash, and a more protracted nap then anyone planned on. (3) Just a bit of the booze. Even if you are both big fans of bourbon on the rocks go with something that is both more fun and more subtle. The Mimosa is pleasant, but if he is a manly man consider mixing up a morning cocktail more suitable to your own taste. Some suggestions: (1) Do a soup served in plus sized coffee mugs. Opulent comfort food here. Roasted english tomato soup with bacon & blue cheese, or a South Carolina she-crab soup would be what I might go for. (2) Go for little meaty/cheesy finger food. The simplest option could be a high quality duck confit on triscuts, but I would take a hanger steak, sear it in a CI skillet, slice it super thin on little toasts, and spoon on a bit of some sauce that was particularly appealing to you both. (3) Mimosa and Bloody Mary are the 2 traditional early breakfast drinks, but sometimes the champagne works ok on its own. It its a chilly rainy day some mulled wine or cider might do the trick. You're not going be be drinking very much of it so make it something fun.
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