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gfron1

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by gfron1

  1. 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.
  2. 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?!
  3. 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~
  4. 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.
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Right now I'm enjoying a nice Westmalloe Trappist Ale - great bouquet and flavor. Product of Belgium.
  10. To me Slanted Door is the obvious...I really enjoyed Limon - a fusion Peruvian restaurant. In Napa there is a new (3 months) restaurant called NV which we really enjoyed - great food, fantastic service.
  11. gfron1

    Chocolate Sushi

    For anyone waiting to hear about the results... I started tinkering last night with rice. I did sushi rice cooked in coconut milk/water mixture and halfway through I added sweetened condensed milk. The taste was good but the texture was more like a rice pudding. Tonight I'm going to make regular sushi rice as directed but then add the sweetened condensed milk at the end as if I were adding my mirin/sugar mixture for sushi. Also, I met a French chocolatier who gave me some chocolate ideas for my "nori". Pictures will be coming (unless they explode on me).
  12. gfron1

    Food Packaging

    Running a specialty food store, this is an easy thread to respond to TetraPak juices, sauces, etc. - I haven't noticed a tinny taste, and they store well being square, and I can drop them without worry. PinchPlus spices - 1 T. portions - over priced yes ($1 ea), but no more aging jars of spices in your cupboard - they win hands down!!!! TyNant water - the sexiest packaging out there with their wavy plastic bottles - I just want to hug and caress them (TMI). And my million dollar idea that any of you are free to steal...single serving ethnic sauces. I mean really, do I need to keep a big bottle of hoisin or vindaloo sauce in my fridge until it gets rancid just because I needed a quarter cup last summer. When will someone make a small serving container that stacks well in the fridge door!!! Oh well...I really should make my own anyway. Rob
  13. American Spoon out of Michigan is great, but it really is easy to make and that's the best kind of all because you can lick the bowl!
  14. gfron1

    Liquid Glucose

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/search.html/102-9...eywords=glucose Sorry, I don't know how to make url's more compact. A bit off topic but hopefully helpful. You can make long URLs short by going to TinyURL.com. Cut and paste the long address into the box and it will give you a very short URL. Rob
  15. gfron1

    GREENS!

    My spouse was raised in Zambia where their staple was greens and thick soft polenta (using the polenta to pick up the greens). He uses kale or a heartier green and wilts to "still crisp" with a bit of water, then he adds a scoop of crunchy peanut butter (traditionally it would be ground nuts) and we eat away!
  16. Being the owner of a specialty food store with over 125 different bars, let me go to my rack and tell you what I'm groovin' on right now!...(I'm walking over right now). Okay, I'm back. A minute ago I ate a Pernigotti hazelnut only because I hadn't had one in a while, yummy and creamy but not my favorite right now. Domori Mais (Milk choc covered corn nuggets) - way addictive for me...but still not my favorite right now. Domori Latte Sal - I'm a dark fan, but this milk with sea salt is superb - best achievement of that flavor profile that I've tasted...but still not #1. #1 in my belly this week...Larzaroni Amaretti Di Saronno - bittersweet chocolate with bits of amaretti cookies in it. Oh man does it drive me wild! The aroma is top notch, the darkness is perfect for the sweet cookie accent. I want this in a mousse!!!
  17. gfron1

    Chocolate Sushi

    All of these are super ideas. I have 7 rolls under development - My Italian themed, a sturdy 85% chocolate nori filled with marzipan and layered with cocoa, then rolled in crushed amaretti cookies. My inside out, a sturdy sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and finished with sweetened condensed milk, a layer of crushed pistachios, then all of it rolled in toasted coconut. Chocolate Ecstasy roll, 85% wrap filled with Julia Childs' chocolate Marqui, Fran Bigelow's white chocolate coconut bar filling, and dusted with cocoa (for swirling effect), rolled in cacao nibs. just an idea of where I'm heading. The rice and the chocolate nori will be key here...my other rolls include candied ginger, dried mango, etc. And my biggest fear is being able to cut them and keep them beautiful. The presentation will be finished with chocolate breadsticks (chopsticks), spun sugar bouquets, marzipan wasabi, and chocolate miso - a recipe I've been playing with for months.
  18. 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
  19. gfron1

    Vin Jaune

    I'm repyling to my own message - kind of like talking to myself... Well, I ordered a case of Vin Jaune from KL Wines. 7 bottles of 95 Puffeney and 5 bottles of 96. My cheese club has no idea that I've done this with "the change" that we've collected over the past 2 years. So on Feb 2nd they're all going to sip a glass of Vin Jaune to go with our Comte. What a better use of $800?! Cheers Rob
  20. Wow, quite a girth of opinines on the topic! I own a specialty food store in Silver City, NM - town of 10K, 3 hours from any major city. We're a ranching town and mining town...so what am I doing with a specialty food store here!? To me this is at the heart of the answer of why people go to chains. When we opened, we knew that for us to have a whole section dedicated to Indonesian foods (as well as 45 other countries) didn't make sense, because the vast majority of our customers would have no idea what to do with the ingredients. They are used to Taco Bell and our local Chinese restaurant being exotic. But that is the joy for us - helping people explore new foods the way we have our entire lives. We take the time to send them home with a jar of Patak's curry sauce and frozen paneer and a simple recipe, only to move them up to a homemade vindaloo on the next visit. Meals, for many, are about comfort. And there is comfort in consistency. There can be stress for many in not knowing what to expect. What if I pronounce a menu item wrong? What if I can't afford the prices? What if everyone looks at me when I walk in because I do something wrong? What if I don't like what's on the menu? What if... What if... The mere fact that we're on this forum would suggest that we wouldn't succomb to these concerns, but for the majority, a long wait for a mediocre meal is much more comforting.
  21. I've been using my Globals and the minosharp for about 2 years (home use only). I've had none of the issues mentioned above. My knives hold their edge (again in home use) for about 3-4 weeks. The sharpener was clearly created for the average home user and not professionals. I happened to be trained by a Global rep in the use of the minosharp - pressure, # of run throughs, etc and have had no problems. I did have a friend who messed up their blade in a mino but the company immediately replaced it. My 2 cents.
  22. gfron1

    Vin Jaune

    One of my greatest joys is bringing foods and experiences to places that no one would ever expect to find them. I'm in a small mountain town in SW New Mexico (pop 10K and 3 hours from any major city). I run a little cheese club that has grown from 15 members to over 125 in just a year and a half. Our next party, having been inspired by Behr's latest issue of the Art of Eating, will be Comte (I'll thrown in a Tete de Moine to let folks play with my girolle). I am also wanting to surprise the members by having a case of Vin Jaune available to really have the Jura experience. But, I had no idea how challenging it would be to find Vin Jaune. I've found some bottles at KL Wine Merchants in San Fran, but would really like a better price. Any suggestions AND any suggestions on other small touches to make this the perfect Jura night (I've not been yet). Thanks Rob
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