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Everything posted by Shaya

  1. Shaya

    Could I freeze this?

    Kim, I freeze stuffed pasta all the time, cannelloni included. However, two caveats regarding the particular recipe you mention. Firstly I would not top them with sauce prior to freezing. I would stuff the shells, place them on a sheet pan until they freeze, then put them into a freezer bag until ready to bake. I would make the sauce separately and freeze it, and pull it out of the freezer the day-of, bring to a boil to loosen, cool it off then pour it over the frozen cannelloni prior to baking. My seceond commend relates to the filling. I'm not sure this is the best type of filling to freeze, as there doesn't seem to be any binder other than the eggs. Freezing is likely to alter the texture of the eggs, so I'm not convinced you will have a cohesive filling after baking. The recipe lists green onion, spinach, cooked chicken and chopped ham. I'm not sure how the chicken and green onion would hold up to the freezing. It seems to me that the chicken would take on an unpleasant texture; the top part of the green onion is likely to take on a lot of water and turn very dark, which could be unpleasant once baked. Also note that the recipe calls for frozen spinach - but since you will be re-freezing the dish, I would definitely use fresh - wash it, place it on a hot pan water still clinging to the leaves, cover for a minute or two until wilted, shock it in ice bath, then squeeze really really well and chop finely. Remember, because you are freezing you will get a more watery result at the end of cooking. Have you considered a more simple ricotta - nutmeg - spinach - parmesan filling topped with a fresh tomato sauce at baking time?
  2. No, not really, they are light but they hold their shape really well. I've also made cannelloni-style dishes with them, as the same Roman cook taught me.
  3. What a great blog you have here, Hiroyuki. I have really enjoyed seeing how you live and most of all how you feed your family. You are a wonderful father and husband. From your blog and all the great meals you prepare it is evident that you are taking the best possible care of your children during these otherwise difficult times. I send all my wishes for health and strength to your wife and your family. And by the way, you are just adorable in your photo!
  4. Very tasty looking chicken, Foodman. That cake is good, no? I really like it, although I think I will grind the almonds more finely next time, it seemed to bug my older guy a bit. Nice pasta, Andrew. I haven't seen that one around here. I must remember to add saffron the next time I make a batch of fresh pasta. Kevin, way to go, cooking already, and bravo to your wife for sitting at the table too! I made an old standby taught to me by a Roman cook, scripelli di Abruzzo. They are like thin crepes, rolled up with some parmigiano reggiano, and served in a broth. I made a nice consomme for the occasion. Scripelli di Abruzzo I also had a beautiful grassfed organic T-bone steak asking to be prepared in an Abruzzese manner, but alas, I couldn't put my finger on any particular preparation for beef, so I did it a la fiorentina. I also made some focaccia that I served on the side, again not from the region, but I could not come up with a single bread from here. Sigh. Anyway the focaccia, which was Peter Reinhart's version, was amazing, I highly recommend it; it didn't have that light airy texture that it sometimes takes on.
  5. Here is my first focaccia. The texture was amazing; not light and airy but really great texture and bite. I topped it with an oil infused with oregano and thyme, but in my haste I forgot to add some fleur de sel. I will definitely remember next time.
  6. Matthew, thank you for continuing these reports. I used to watch the ladies on TV and found their food captured me for its simplicity and quality of ingredients. They have defintely influenced the way I cook. I have them on my list to try the next time I'm in London. ps Aren't you glad you listened to your other half?
  7. The differences lie in 3 key factors: (1) quality of ingredients - variance in the quality of flour and water; artisanal manufacturers tend to have their own wheat supplies that they have been using for generations; (2) extrusion method - the artisanal pastas are extruded slowly through bronze dies, lending them a rough texture that leads to a product that soaks up sauce beautifully when cooked; you may notice that supermarket pastas have a completely smooth surface which becomes slippery when cooked, and thus does not soak up sauce the sauce in the same way; (3) drying method - artisanal pastas are dried long and slowly, which contributes to the wonderful texture, because these soak up a lot of water when cooked; supermarket pastas are dried more quickly and don't gain the same textural quality in the process.
  8. Shaya

    Dinner! 2007

    Beautiful, Moby! Has the family been away? Chufi, that all looks fantastic, my kind of dinner. The tian looks great - the chickpeas are quite a surprise! And those rolls, beautiful. I love the elegant pinkish onions swirling down the side of the burger.
  9. Shaya

    Dinner! 2007

    Ann, gorgeous pie. Wendy, I'm so happy to hear you are back in oven-action! Moby, I love the look of your lobster meal. Beautiful plating. How did you butter-roast the lobster? I have done a butter-poach, and I have pan-roasted with the shell on, but I'm curious about how you prepared yours. My sweetie had a hankering for a childhood favorite tonight, pork tenderloin. I wilted some arugula, and my little guy made a sauce with green apple, shallot, stock and cream. What else on the side than...gratin dauphinois (must be subliminal messaging from this thread)! My own version that I've been making for 20 years, similar to Bourdain's except I do not simmer the potatoes first; they go raw into the oven. My husband and I adore these, and the kids were into them too, today. Also roasted orange beets - grownups loved these, but not the kids. Oh well. Can't win 'em all. Pork Tenderloin with Green Apple and Arugula, Roasted Orange Beets and Gratin Dauphinois I am not a bit fan of pork. Had a small organic grassfed striploin from the farmer's market instead, which I shared with the kids. GrassFed Organic Striploin - same veggies as above!
  10. Thanks for the compliments, all. I really have missed my Italian meals. They do look thick, don't they? I think this pasta absorbs a lot of water, and yes, I would say it's as thick as it looks. For comparison sake, here is the pici I typically make (shown here with my eggplant ricotta sauce):
  11. Shaya

    Dinner! 2007

    Winter recently hit us again; the kids spent Easter sunday building snowment and toboganning! Is there anything better than braising? Start with some beautiful ribs courtesy of the nice butcher who is well familiar with your high standards: Browning action to build deep color and flavor: Liquids for building more flavor and texture: Add fresh veggies in the form of caramelized onions and mushrooms: Ribs Braised in Red Wine Cauliflower Sformato with Radicchio, Shallot, Balsamic Compote
  12. A recent conversation in our house: "...Mommy, is tomorrow Monday?" "Yes..." "...So is Passover over tomorrow?..." "Yes..." "...Can we have pasta again when Passover is over?" "Of course!" I won't lie to you all, it's been a tough week. I try to limit pasta to twice a week, but that coupled with the lack of bread, and I went into real withdrawal. It's the first time that's happened to me, so I decided to go with it, and give myself a real rest from it all (normally by day 5 I have had enough and get back to eating as usual). As you can see, I brought my family along with me for the ride! Dinner from Abruzzo - I actually collect pasta from Rusticella D'Abruzzo. I love them for their texture, quality, toothiness... really, discovering this pasta forever changed the way I look at pasta. I have tried to convert many people, but mostly they just look at me like I'm crazy. Here is our first pasta for awhile. I had half a pack of chitarra that I mixed with spaghetti. I made a nice ragu with pancetta, hand-chopped steak and spicy Italian sausage form the farmer's market, made without those annoying (to me) fennel seeds. It was really tasty, and extremely welcome amongst some in the family. Parozzo - Mario's Chocolate Cake from Abruzzo - this cake is dense and not too sweet, just my kind of cake. It's made from ground almonds, and the eggwhites are whipped and folded in so it rises quite a bit. My older guy took the opportunity to make the meringue with no help from Mommy. I must make a point of looking for the saffron you mention. It sounds like a parallel tasting is in order.
  13. Wednesday March 21 For our last day we were accompanied by my friend and her adorable daughter, who is the same age as my older guy. We went to le Marais and walked along rue des Rosiers, which I had never seen before. Also known as the Jewish district, this is a wonderfully historical section of Paris, with food shops taking you back through time; you can still sense the energy of the older generations who settled here and founded what are now historical sites. Our ultimate destination was the musee Picasso, but lunch was in order before that as we were all hungry. We contemplated having a felafel at the place my friend proclaimed to be the absolute best - L'As Du Felafel but our trip was coming to an end and we wanted one more French meal before leaving. We passed by one place that looking great - it had a corny name, Love, and I had never heard of it, but the menu looked very tempting. I would love to hear comments from anyone who knows about this place. We kept walking and finally settled on Au Gamin de Paris - 51, rue du Temple, 4th. Once again it was around 2:00pm. The place was cozy, the service friendly, and people continued to arrive after us. It felt a little more touristey than the other places we had eaten, but seemed to be sincere in its offerings. My friend hesitantly ordered the onion soup and was not surprised that it paled in comparison with the divine version she'd had the previous week at Au Pied de Cochon. My older guy had - what else - magret de canard, which he once again enjoyed. If only I could find fresh duck locally, I could really make his day! The other two kids had tagliatelle - nicely prepared bowls of pasta, one a la carbonara, the other tout simple. I really enjoyed my salad with chevre and fig compote. But my confit de canard was lacking in flavor and texture. It seemed lifeless. My husband's meal was also ok, he really enjoyed his salad, and his main course, which I believe was ris de veau, was good but not fantastic. Overall an ok meal, but I wonder what would have been a better choice in the area?
  14. Tuesday March 20 We spent the next few days visiting another set of friends in Bourg D'Oisans, about 45 minutes from Grenoble, where we ate wonderful home-cooked food. I will start a separate thread to show you a few photos from those meals. Back in Paris for our last 2 days, we decided it was time to do a bit of shoppping. We headed to Rue Vavin just off the Luxembourg gardens and wandered through the area, stopping whereever caught our eye. Just as the kids were beginning to fade, like a mirage, there was the gelateria I had been desperate to try: Amorino. A fairly new addition to the ice-cream scene in Paris (Berthillon being the most famous I read about) they have 10 locations listed on their business card, and their shops are well worth a visit. I have always preferred gelati and sorbet to the traditional american-style ice cream, and I wasn't disappointed here. I was tempted to taste so many flavors, and asked if we could have more than one flavor per cone. Our server assured me that I could have as many different flavors as I wanted. I had marrons glaces, cioccolato and lampone (or framboise). My husband had amarena, which was vanilla with a coulis made from morello cherries. The kids had cioccolato and cioccolato/lampone. You can see the different flavors here. Amorino Selection of Flavors Cioccolato-Lampone The Purist - Cioccolato - note the gorgeous presentation in the form of a flower I did not have a plan, for the meal that day. At around 1:30pm we passed by a restaurant that had been on my list to try if the opportunity arose for a dinner sans enfants: Sensing. I was so excited to see the decor and the menu from the outside, that I went in to see whether lunch would even be a possibility. The hostess was very pleasant and friendly, and very welcoming as well. I asked if they would be able to accomodate us for lunch, and she said absolutely. Then, looking around the modern, funky, highly stylized decor, and the elegant crowd, I mentioned that we had young children with us. Once again she opened her arms and said we would be welcome. I paused and said we would think about it. She left me with a smile, saying, "N'hesitez pas" as I walked out the door. It was wonderful to be welcomed in that way, and I believe it goes to highlight what John had told me before our trip - that Parisians are not afraid of accomodating children at lunchtime. Had it been dinner time it would probably have been a different story. Anyhow, we did not stay as we were not quite ready to stop for lunch. More shops beckoned. Around 4:00 pm we were really hungry and craving a steak-frites. By then we had made our way to Rue du Bac at Boulevard Saint-Germain, and settled in at a busy-looking brasserie/bar Le Saint Germain - 62, rue du Bac, 7th. Here we had an adequate meal, not the best, but could have been worse. My husband and I both had a filet with frites. I asked for my frites without the advertised garllic topping - which the waiter promptly forgot; he huffed a little when I gently reminded him that I hadn't wanted the garlic, but he obligingly returned a few moments later with my meal as ordered. The fries were crispy and tasty, and cut into rounds. My older son got a hamburger-frites, which took him a little by surprise when it came in a flat rectangular shape, sitting naked on the plate next to a heap of frites. He said his first reaction was, "Dude, where's the bun?" It was a good lesson in French cuisine for him, and he enjoyed it a lot. Little guy had a plate of pasta with cheese and some of my steak and fries. We finished off the day at a charming little toy store just down the street from the restaurant, not quite wanting the day to end, knowing we had only one day left in this wonderful city.
  15. Those are gorgeous photos, Chufi. Thanks for posting them. Thanks for the kind comments Forest and Bryan. At Pierre Herme we also picked up some chocolate. Actually we picked up quite a bit of chocolate on this trip. Here is some of what we brought home: We have really been enjoying having sampling sessions late at night when the kids are tucked in...ever wonder what YOUR parents did after you were asleep? My husband absolutely adores Pierre Herme's chocolate with bergamot. It was also fun to compare the two from Madagascar - the Pralus has much more depth and is much more acidic - but we now realize that although the beans might be native to the same place, they are different types of beans, so I'm not sure it's really fair to compare them...anyone have any insight into this?
  16. I love bistro food too, but I don't tend to cook that way often. I will be getting the Bouchon book from the library this week, thinking it might inspire more of this type of cooking. By the way, beautiful photos, David. Lucky for us you figured out the mystery of posting photos!
  17. You can watch the segment Here! You were great, very natural and friendly, and your product is really attractive. I love Dianne Sawyer, what a treat this must have been.
  18. Doc, this is a fabulous report, thanks so much for putting so much energy into it. This is a trip of a lifetime for your kids, and your family as a whole. You inspire me to strive for similar adventures as my boys get older.
  19. I love Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. I also love La Varenne Pratique. My Mom gave it to me when I was around your age and I still pick it up frequently. There are also many biographies you can check out, some about modern chefs, some about the classics such as Jacques Pepin and the latest written by Julia Child and her Nephew which was released shortly after her death, My Life in France. I enjoyed these both immensely.
  20. Ironically I had made this tarte a year ago based on the suggestion of eGullet dessert experts. It was extremely decadent, containing more butter than I had seen in my entire childhood! But mine was not as smooth as the one we just tried. When you take a bite the lemon bursts out and the creaminess supports it beautifully.
  21. Tuesday March 13 I could hardly sleep Monday night knowing what a great day Tuesday promised to be. I had great plans for lunch and a certain eGulleter was making the trip from a nearby country to meet us for the day. We started yet another beautiful sunny morning visiting the gargoyles at Notre Dame. My kids were instantly taken with the man on the front left panel with his head in his hands..."What happened to his head, Mommy?" Then we took a brisk walk from there to the Jardins Luxembourg. What a beautiful place. There was our surprise visitor, none other than Chufi herself! I would highly recommend the playground at the Luxembourg as a perfect place to spend with kids during the hour preceding a lunch in a more adult setting. They will play themselves ragged and be inclined to behave at the meal. Of course I had everyone on yet another winding journey to our restaurant for lunch. On the way we saw many interesting shops, including this one with a wonderful collection of teapots in the window: We arrived at Le Comptoir around 2:00pm and found just the right table outside underneath the awning. The menu was full of temptations, and yet Chufi and I were drawn to ordering the exact same courses. The waitress was quick to inform the kids that she could offer them each a dish of pasta. Of course my little guy was up for that. My older guy had his eye on the seared tuna, and asked for it to be very rare. It came a little more cooked than we'd ordered, but it was wonderfully flavored and surrounded with piles of vegetables that my husband proclaimed to be the best he'd ever had. My sweetie started with the lobster bisque, followed by the rack of lamb which I believe had Spanish flavors. They were both perfectly executed. Chufi and I started with the foie gras terrine with morels and an artichoke puree. I really enjoyed the flavors and texture contrasts in this dish. We followed this with tender, succulent, melt-in-your mouth braised beef cheeks. The sauce was wonderful, and I enjoyed the "macaroni" although my husband expressed dismay at the use of such a basic style of pasta in such a restaurant. When you think about it, though, they are after all beef cheeks, which are fairly basic their own right... There were cracklins atop both these dishes but I can't for the life of me recall what they were made from...perhaps Chufi can remember? Once again the service was seamless. The kids were seved their meals while we had our entrees, and they ordered dessert while we had our main course. For dessert they had pots de chocolats that were so rich and decadent that they each abandoned them halfway through. Sometimes there is such thing as too much of a good thing... In the end we had to hunt down our waitress to get our bill; my husband found her seated at the bar with a cigarette, and she motioned for our other server to see us off. This spoke to the underlying casual nature of the place... So to answer my question as to whether Le Comptoir is appropriate for kids at lunchtime...the answer is a resounding yes, at least when seated outside on the terrace. At this point we had no room for any more food; however, since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to pay a visit to Pierre Herme where we bought pastries and macaroons and chocolates until our wallets were ready to burst. Seriously, the prices here are not for the faint of heart. But the pastry are amazing and the macaroons - a first for us - were wonderful. Chocolate Dome and Tarte au Citron
  22. Of course no visit to rue Coquillière would be complete without a visit to the venerable cooking supply shop Dehillerin. It was a great shop to browse, but while it is touted as a wholesaler, I did not get the sense it was full of any great deals. In fact I found the prices to be on the high side. I would also mention that 90% of the clientele seemed to be tourists. Anyhow, I was thrilled to find my dream tool that has been eluding me for the past 5 years: a conical sieve for stocks. Here it was, just the right size and quality, and Italian-made to boot. My friend treated me to both the sieve and a long French style rolling pin:
  23. Stunning, Chufi, both the cake and the photography.
  24. You really did some great eating during your trip to New York. This is a wonderful report. You've given me lots of ideas for our next trip there - many of the places seem like good choices for taking the whole family, too.
  25. A 2-day fermentation is just perfect. Let it rise for two hours, punch down to re-distribute the yeast, and place in veggie drawer in a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap. Remove Sunday a few hours before baking, form into balls, one for each pie, and let proof prior to stretching.
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