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Everything posted by gfron1

  1. I knew this thread could be fun, but I had no idea how fun until I saw that scary frozen food cutter! That thing should be in a horror movie.
  2. Wow, I got a mention! Silver City is no food mecca (yet) but its coming. So, when you do have time to check us out I'd love to tell you all the great food spots. We have, what I think, is the best carneceria (butcher) anywhere that I've seen in a decade or more. We also have one of the best organic restaurants I've ever been to about an hour north of us in a town called Reserve. But, here in town, we have some great eats (Southwest/French/American fusion, Meditteranean, Hunter Haven) and more coming (Carribbean inspired, French Pastry, Panini Grill). May not seem impressive to big city folk, but for a town of 10K, 2 hours from anything, we're doing pretty good! Have a great trip. Rob
  3. Wow...I can sleep soundly tonight. Thanks! ...but then again, what about turbinado
  4. Sugar debate... I had heard that in its melted/dissolved form beet sugar was more granular/gritty. When I compare them side by side, the only difference I see is the fineness (beat sugar seems more powdering v. granular), making me wonder if the difference isn't the machining of the sugar. But then, I also think the way the plant processes and the soil differences between where sugar grows and beats, all might make a flavor difference. I wonder if in their liquid or melted form there might be a taste difference. I'll have to play more...
  5. I guess I missed it for the past 25 years of my cooking life...beat sugar...I thought I was buying cane sugar. My refined sense of snobbery has me paying for the more expensive cane, but does it matter?
  6. gfron1


    I've been eating way too many of Steve's Mom Bakery hamentaschen...especially the apricot dipped in chocolate. Their macaroons are fantastic too.
  7. I double checked and ours is Zarrin brand. My favorite use for this is a meatloaf or roast glaze. We also tried it in martinis...big mistake, but pomegranate JUICE martinis are fantastic! I've been wanting to try it as a layer in a dark chocolate brownie...maybe I'll do that this weekend
  8. I know this forum isn't a marketplace, but I carry it in my store. Our website (www.curiouskumquat.com) doesn't allow purchase yet, but you can email me directly if you get desperate. The other thing to consider is that it is often called pomegranate paste, and our brand is Tazah which should be readily available in the Chicago region. All in all, ours is inexpensive and I'd be happy to help you out. Rob
  9. As they say...now we're cooking. These are great ideas! Thanks and keep 'em coming.
  10. This feedback is very helpful - thank you guys. Hearing it, I guess my quest is to find the perfect meal based on a stereotype. In other words, if you thought Olive Garden was a gourmet meal, but, you watched the Food Network until your eyes glazed over, what would you think the perfect meal would be. I've been thinking about the 25 year balsamic, foie gras, kobe beef, etc...
  11. Affordable in our small town is very different from the NYC or SF crowds, but we're hoping to have the meal cost around $75 per person. If we can develop the perfect meal, then we can work on finding ingredients to get a decent price.
  12. This was as necessary improvement to a good thing as the individually wrapped potato and single serve banana...marketing drives the kitchen...and sometimes you crash
  13. El Rey for me as well for meltability reasons - BTW the Icoa is the same as the Carenero Superior. For eating, baking, etc, I haven't found any I like better than Domori..but I haven't been able to get it to melt smoothly. But I think it has the most complex flavor of all the whites.
  14. gfron1

    Chips and Crisps

    We have Fusion brand crisps from Tayto in Roast Beef Peppercorn and Roast Cheese Peppercorn...yum! But a bit scary at how much they taste like the names.
  15. gfron1

    Wasabi cashews

    WasabiPeanuts This is a product that I've been wanting to try for the past year - a bit pricey, but sounds good.
  16. At our store we lovingly call Black Sheep Brewery's Black Sheep Chutney "Vomit Chutney." I have customers who swear by the stuff, but apparently it doesn't mix well with my mouth chemicals.
  17. Its been mentioned twice but Twinkies. I used to be on the Indianapolis Star's food advisory panel, and every year they would invite us to the state fair to try out the latest fair food (its a tough job but someone's got to do it). I thought the previous year's Snicker was too much (although I ate every last morsel and grease stain), but the Twinkie...ahhh...just enough grease soaked into the golden sponge to squirt as i bit. Funny...now that I think of it, that was my last gig with that panel and I moved to New Mexico to open a gourmet food store...I wonder what the connection might be?!
  18. gfron1

    Chocolate Sushi

    I am rested after the chocolate madness. You can go to this url to see the results: ChocolateSushi I did seven different chocolates: Chocolate Dillusion Maki: Double layered 70% chocolate nori filled with chocolate marquis and cacao nibs, rolled in gold leaf Grande Isle Maki: 70% chocolate nori filled with white chocolate rice, candied ginger twigs, and rolled in toasted coconut Milanese Maki: 70% chocolate nori filled with white chocolate rice (boosted with chocolate extract), marzipan (colored pink), and crushed amaretti cookies, rolled in amaretti powder Rising Sun Maki: 70% chocolate nori filled with green tea infused white chocolate rice, paper-thin sliced kumquat, and white chocolate coconut cream, rolled in toasted macadamia nuts The Glutten Nigiri: White chocolate rice (boosted by chocolate extract), topped with 85% chocolate ganache and gold leaf The Goddess Nigiri: White chocolate coconut rice topped in 70% ganache, dipped in ganache and rolled in pistachios The Gift Nigiri: Green tea white chocolate rice topped in ganache and tied with a spun sugar ribbon Key details: I used transfer paper for the nori to apply an design and sheen. The nori was made with 70% El Rey chocolate, inverted sugar, butter and sunflower oil (to make them non-tacky) for a great flexible yet cutable material. Marzipan was used to make ginger and wasabi. I also had a coffee syrup dipping sauce that I sent to the judges. The rice was the biggest challenge. In the end I used sweet rice and made sure it was well cooked. To add the rice, coconut, etc I layered the rice with the additive in the steamer. ~Fin~
  19. gfron1

    Chocolate Sushi

    I'm in practice mode for an upcoming chocolate competition (which I won last year with chestnut mousse). This year I am making a variety of chocolate sushi rolls. The one piece that I haven't quite perfected is the rice. I am planning to make a coconut milk based rice, and I'm going to try three flavors - plain, chocolate (using Neilsen Massey choc extract) and green tea. My concern is texture - it needs to hold together but not be too ricey if you know what I mean. Thoughts? Thanks in advance, Rob
  20. gfron1

    Chocolate Sushi

    I've thought about that so I'm going to pulverize the candied ginger and then reform, so it should cut cleanly. Thanks.
  21. gfron1

    Chocolate Sushi

    Steamed sweet rice finished with white chocolate was a success! Now I'm going to work on variations - green tea white chocolate, using chocolate extract in the steaming water...
  22. gfron1

    Chocolate Sushi

    Thanks to the advice on this board, this is what I have done. I'm also going to add white chocolate in tonight's test run for sweeteness. This is my last trial run. I have to make 200 pieces Friday night. I will post pics...
  23. gfron1

    Vin Jaune

    The big night is over! A case of 95 Vin Jaune was enjoyed (minus one bottle for my stash!). As was predicted, it was a hard sell except to our more travelled guests. Those who didn't enjoy it called it, "Medicinal" or "Herbal Bitter." My first sip, didn't enjoy. Then I put a piece of 18 month comte in my mouth and tried again. Better. By the end of the second glass I wanted more, more, more (hence the bottle that was hidden for my stash). Thanks to all for the suggestions. We had great walnut dishes, and a wonderful time. BTW, I learned just this morning that this weekend in the Jura Region, they were celebrating the Opening of the Vin Jaune (an annual festival)...how perfectly timed. Absolutely magical.
  24. gfron1

    Chocolate Sushi

    In case anyone is living vicariously through my posts...here is the result of tonight's experiment. Last night was too gloppy. So, tonight I rinsed the rice to remove some gluten. Then I cooked it as a regular sushi rice (2:1) in water. When it was absorbed, I removed from the heat and added corn syrup. Not quite sweet enough, so I added sweetened condensed milk and a dash of chocolate extract. Flavor was OK but still gloppy. Not as gloppy as last night but still not similar enough to the sushi experience to work. Tomorrow night (boy am I going to be sick of sweet sushi rice) - cook it in sugar water and finish with chocolate extract.
  25. Right now I'm enjoying a nice Westmalloe Trappist Ale - great bouquet and flavor. Product of Belgium.