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Posts posted by kjohn

  1. OK, sorry, they dropped the "y" and the "e" as well.

    They can't seem to settle on a name, what is this, the John Mellencamp of restaurants? The whole concept seems to be dreadful, on par with a Britney Spears restaurant.

  2. Anyone familiar with the teas of Mariage Freres?  They are a Paris institution that makes, IMO, the best flavored teas in the world!  Although I generally prefer traditional (un-flavored loose) teas to flavored ones, I do occasionally have a craving for something different.  Mariage Freres never fails to impress!

    Anyone else like MF?

    Love Mariage Freres - their The Rouge Bourbon is my favorite, the bouquet and the flavor are non-pareil.

  3. Alchemist - you are a true and creatively inspired cocktalian.  I'd would love to have a drink with you sometime.  We'd have a lot to talk about...

    Love the technical terms.  :biggrin:

    Sure next time you're in town I'll buy you a drink @ Pegu.

    So I tried the fizz in a bottle. Fan-tas-TICK! It was light and fluffy, like the Cucumber foam on the Pimms Pony @ WD-50. It went a little like this...

    12 Oz. Plymouth gin

    @ Oz. Plymouth Sloe gin

    7.5 Oz lemon juice

    7.5 oz. simple

    3 egg whites

    Combinr all ingrediants in Container. Charge with CO2. Carfully spray into rocks glass full of ice. let settle, top with more frothy goodness. No garnish to distract from the cotton candy pinkness.

    Great technique! Why hasn't it ever occurred to me before!

    Love your book BTW. I received it as a Christmas gift from my gf years ago. It's how I learned to make drinks.

  4. how in the world do you get non-cocktail or "Cosmo drinkers" to try something new?

    With the Cosmopolitans and the Aviation, when you make them at home and follow a precise recipe, you usually end up with something that packs more of a punch. How serious your crowd is about cocktails (not very from the sound of things) will determine what they have a taste for. Most people like things on the sweeter and weaker side. Most of the Cosmopolitans I've had out are like pink lemonade, but the ones I make at home tend to have a harder edge to them.

    Next time you have a party, plan a set cocktail menu. Offer 2-3 choices and people will tend to try things. Choose enough variation so that multiple tastes can be accomodated. For example, you could do a martini style drink and a highball-style drink to accomodate different tastes for cocktail strength.

    Whether they like what they try - well, that's another story.

  5. The outer layer was pink, but about a half-inch in, the pork was white. These were very meaty ribs, so I assume they just weren't cooked long enough.

    The pink outer layer is the smoke ring. It's supposed to be there. It's got all the nitrate-goodness.

    What I was trying to get across was that the smoke ring wasn't that deep in the meet. I think that either they aren't smoking it long enough or switch to less meaty ribs. For example, the ribs at Blue Smoke are pink almost all the way through, but are less meaty than Max's.

  6. I ate at Max's back in February, and it was great. By great, I mean a lot better than I expected. I had chicken and ribs. The chicken was great, with a very good smoke flavor. The ribs were similarly well-smoked. I thought I had it made.

    However, I went back this weekend. I had the ribs again. Smoke wasn't absent, but it was clear that it hadn't penetrated the ribs very deeply. The outer layer was pink, but about a half-inch in, the pork was white. These were very meaty ribs, so I assume they just weren't cooked long enough.

    The sides seem to be excellent, especially the cheese grits. Didn't try the collard greens, though.

    Based on my two experiences, I wouldn't say that Max is just plain bad, but it seems to be very inconsistent. On the other hand, it's a pleasant place to eat, so I would probably risk it and go back anyway.

  7. Since the cooking section has a long ongoing thread 'Dinner! What did we cook?' I thought it would be interesting to have one for the bakers too. Do you think we can catch up with the 'Dinner' thread? :raz::wink: Pictures are welcome too. :biggrin:

    I made my first sourdough bread today. I was inspired by the number of threads here related to sourdough baking. The loaf came out very well. It's a little on the denser side as I haven't quite figured out the 'big bubbles' technique yet. Nevertheless, it makes a great sandwich bread and is tasty enough to be eaten out of hand. I'm very satisfied and I'm looking forward to trying some variations in technique and recipe. Thanks to everybody here for the great information.

  8. Another question, if your steaming, why not steam in the microwave? The microwave seems like the perfect mechanism for steaming because it can penetrate food and steam from the inside. This means you achieve higher temperatures and use less water and take less time. So more nutrients are preserved, the enzymes are destroyed faster and the food in general deterioates far less.

    Apart from the inherent prejudice that the west seems to have against microwaves for anything other than TV dinners, why not use the microwave?

    I boil if it's a leafy green I'm working with. I steam almost everything else. As for the microwave, it's actually a great way to steam vegetables. My father bought a microwave steamer when I was a kid and I've been partial to steaming vegetables ever since.

  9. I'm curious as to whether anybody else tried using flour or cornstarch as a thickener. I find that it's much more foolproof that way rather than relying purely on the egg yolks for thickening.

    I think the deal-breaker here for me would be whether the flour is discernable in the finished curd, either by taste or by mouth-feel. What's your take on that?

    I've done this many times and there is no discernable flour flavor or mouthfeel. We're talking about a small amount of flour and it is cooked with the milk. You can even back off the flour a bit more and it still has a lot of thickening power.

  10. When the tobacco industry was found to be putting additives into cigarettes to make them more addictive, there was outrage. If beer companies started putting additives into beer to make it so appealing that most people would drink too much, I think some people would be outraged. But the flavor industry is pretty much allowed to do what it wants to do under the premise that it's all about making profits, and it's up to the customer to make informed choices.

    [For those who read the McDiet thread, forgive me for repeating much of what I said on that thread over here.  :smile: ]

    But the beer companies do that already. There are a lot of those flavored malt liquor beverages. But your point is taken.

    I have my own beliefs about the causes of the 'obesity epidemic,' based on my observations on how people eat. The two things I see as particularly bad news is the amount of soda consumption and the amount of fried potato consumption. If every meal is washed down with a coke and accompanied by french fries, we're talking about a lot of extra calories being consumed.

    Part of the problem is the horrible quality of vegetables available in most areas of the United States. People aren't choosing to eat healthy because it simply isn't appealing to eat that way. If the vegetables and fish available to you are of low quality, you are going to get something processed.

  11. I don't know if this is the traditional way to do it, but I start with a milk and a tablespoon of flour. I thicken this on the stove at low heat. Then I add the butter and sugar. I take it off the heat and let it cool a little, then I stir in some lemon zest and juice, and a few egg yolks. If it isn't thick enough at that point (it usually is) I give it a little more heat. I find this makes for a nice thick, very rick, stable lemon curd.

    I don't generally use a specific recipe, but guidelines seem to be about 1.5-2 cups milk, 1 tablespoon flour, juice of one lemon, 2-4 egg yolks, 2-4 tablespoons of butter, a half cup of sugar, and about a half teaspoon of zest. I taste as I go along because the lemons differ in tartness and the milk differs in sweetness.

    I'm curious as to whether anybody else tried using flour or cornstarch as a thickener. I find that it's much more foolproof that way rather than relying purely on the egg yolks for thickening.

  12. As for cooking things in plastic bags. I say yuck, I don't want that near my food.

    You are right. From an aesthetical and sensual view, SV doesn't add anything to the art of cooking, to say the least.

    I think your wrong. next time your slow cooking something, put your nose right into the pot and take a deep sniff. Now, imagine that all that flavour is just drifting out into the air and disappearing for 3, 4, 6 hours. Imagine how much flavour you lose from foods by doing this? I've always been appalled by this and it surprises me that other people can be so casual about it.

    Yes, but on the other hand, you gain flavors by cooking things certain ways as well. And as Shaw mentioned earlier, there are other ways of trapping aromatics when you cook that don't involve using plastic bags.

  13. A little off the beaten path, but my father makes killer ice cream with one of these:http://www.vitamix.com/

    I use the Cuisinart and I've been very happy with it. I had a Krups, but the seal broke and the fluid inside started leaking out. I'm very interesting in that electric compressor machine that a number of people have pointed out in this thread. Perhaps the time has finally come for an affordable home version - I'd like to see (and taste) some test results though before I shell out for one. Perhaps they demo it at the Williams Sonoma?

  14. There's a quick variety of McCann's. It comes in a box, and it's about $3. I also buy bulk steel cut oats, which are a bargain (you get about double to three times for the same price.) I prefer the McCann's only because you can start it, jump in the shower, and it's ready by the time you get out. The bulk stuff takes longer to cook.

    Oh, and steel cut oats are my favorite breakfast cereal.

  15. I've been craving Doro Wat for awhile now. Has anyone been lately? I was going to go to Ghenet but Queen of Sheba or Meskerem are sounding better.

    If you go to Meskerem, I recommend going to the 47th Street location. The downtown one is pretty miserable as somebody mentioned earlier. I've always found Meskerem on 47th to be quite above average and a good value. I usually get the Vegetarian Combo, Doro Wat, and Special Tibs. It's practically enough food for four (or three very hungry) people.

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