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Everything posted by Alexis

  1. Yeah, that's what I ended up getting. It's a bit tarter than Fage but the consistency is good. All the Fage I saw (Fairway and Whole Foods--out on LI) were the New York ones so I didn't try it. The Kesso is really expensive though (I'm used to paying £1.50 for 500g) so I think I will start making my own. We go through too much of it to pay nearly $7.
  2. Nothing special, to be honest--but I find that to be true of most of the major commercial varieties (including Jazz' parents, Braeburn and Gala). Jazz and Pink Lady both have stringent quality control--for Pink Lady (and I think for Jazz as well) imperfect fruit can't be sold under the name. (Second quality Pink Lady are sold as Cripps Pink, IIRC) I used to buy apples from the farm or the greenmarket stands--now those are apples! And as a New Yorker, I beg to differ on WA state apples. Not as good as Northeastern ones, and too dominated by the commercial varieties (though perhaps if you actually live there you can get better ones)
  3. This is really disappointing. I go through a lot of plain yoghurt, and I'm moving back to New York in 3 weeks. Hopefully Fairway will still have some Greek made in stock--or i'll be trekking around NYC looking for some to use as a starter!
  4. Bump to ask a question. I currently have a UK Magimix 5100. I have all the discs for it. Will these work with the US Magimix 5150 currently sold by Chef's Catalog? (I'm moving back to the USA in July and will need to buy a new FP.) The 5150 was never sold here so I don't have any way to check. thanks!
  5. Not quite. NY pizza did come from Naples, so it's not entirely wrong to go back there. It's still closer to Neapolitan than most mass market pizzas, especially in the US. You don't find 20 different toppings in a New York pizzeria. There's less than 10 and one is 'extra cheese'--few enough that they can be listed with tick-boxes on the side of the pizza box! The most common way to get pizza at your typical hole-in-the-wall joint is a plain slice--nothing but crust, sauce, and cheese. And it's usually low-moisture mozzerella so it's nice and stringy, although some higher-class places use the real thing. Personally I adore New York pizza in all its incarnations, but these days Italian-American food is thought of as an inauthentic offshoot of Italian cuisine.
  6. The other trouble with veal in this country is that "rose veal" is now in fashion (milk fed is equated with cage raised). It's not bad for some things, but I do miss milk fed. I'll see how dark Ginger Pig's look, but if anyone knows anywhere not in central London I'd be happy to hear it as I'm currently 8mos pregnant!
  7. I'm not sure if Canadians use the American pint or the Imperial one--Canada became independent after the British switched, but I suspect that American influence may have brought the US cup and pint. A US cup is 236mL. When Australia went metric, they invented a "metric cup" of 250mL. The Australian tablespoon is the odd man out at 20mL (US and UK tablespoons are both approximately 15mL).
  8. Bit late but the kosher shops in Golders Green have it. Now, my query - back to meat! I'm another veal lover who despairs of not being able to buy anything but escalopes and stew meat. Any good butchers anywhere near Finchley who will do things like rolled shoulder, breast, rib chops? (Oh how I miss chops...) And more cuts of beef: kosher bola does nicely for chuck pot roast as long as you put it up at lunch time to eat at dinner, but I miss short ribs, flanken, and the cheap but tasty steaks: flank, skirt, hanger. I once asked a butcher about them and he said they mainly get sent for processing
  9. I live in Finchley. Foodie haven it's not. Er, we have a good chippy (Two Brothers) and a good veg Indian (Rani). And lots of Waitroses, and you can buy real bagels in Golders Green (I'm a NY native). As a place to live it's not bad, though; nice housing mix. Golders Green is best for transport, but be warned that there's no decent supermarket (not entirely a bad thing as the small shops do very well, but it's a shlep if you need to stock up). But you can't beat hot bagels from Carmelli's motzei Shabbat in winter! GG was temperance until the '50s so there's no pubs, though. (The Royal Oak in Temple Fortune has closed.)
  10. Alexis

    Fry pans

    I have the regular Bourgeat stainless steel and use it for everything. Works a treat (but it's nearly black on the bottom now--tip, if you buy SS be vigilant about the Barkeepers Friend from the beginning!)
  11. OT - but you need to search around more - I never had a bit of trouble getting lamb in New York. The cuts are different but if you try describing it to the butcher he can get you something equivalent. Even FreshDirect has a reasonable variety, though they don't have whole shoulder. I've never had Angel Delight (not kosher) but I have to admit I do like American packaged pudding. That at least works by understood culinary principles though (it's got cornstarch in it; bring it to a boil and it thickens)
  12. Alexis


    Mmm, so hard to choose - I think my favourite is the Pink Fir Apple. Very knobbly potato with great flavour. But I love La Ratte and Jersey Royal too. Can't get Jersey Royals in the States of course but I've seen La Rattes in the Union Square greenmarket. Storage potatoes do have their uses--simply can't make chips from new potatoes (yes chips! So degraded by fast food, but real, freshly fried ones--mmm), and I do love fluffy, starchy mash. King Edwards make the best mashed potato IMO. And much as I used to complain about Idaho Russets being low in flavour, I've come to miss them now that I can't get them. Nothing else bakes up in quite the same way--the Russet has perfect baked-potato skin.
  13. One thing I can't stand about Giles Coren is his anti-American digs. Really gets on my nerves. I wonder if that affected his opinion about Reichl...
  14. HD is, IMO, the best mass-produced ice-cream... and I've been eating it since I could hold a spoon. (New York native). Chocolate and strawberry are my all time faves. And you can tell their strawberry is the real deal because it's not luridly pink. The carrot cake was part of the "Extraas" line about 10 years ago--there was a brownie one that was excellent too and got brought back briefly. I miss sorbet & cream myself but you can sort of duplicate it at home with a pint of vanilla and a pint of your favourite sorbet. Some of the new flavors are a bit too complicated but I try them when I go home anyway. I like the strawberry shortcake even if it is just strawberry with cake pieces. Mango is good. We don't get nearly enough flavours here and they're about £3.50 for 500ml British supermarket ice-cream is terrible though. Over here they have to specify if it's dairy... because cheap stuff is made with VEGETABLE OIL!!! ANd even fairly expensive stuff often has stabilisers in it. Sigh.
  15. Forget £85 sandwiches, who wants to start someplace selling good £5-and-under sandwiches, not those sad triangles with half an ounce of filling, always on wholemeal because it doesn't go soggy in 10 minutes?
  16. My feeling on many mass-market British curry houses is that Brits like it because they've grown up on it. I love Indian food and I can't stand the slop they serve at a lot of these places. Soggy mixed frozen veg in the samosas, everything cooked with "curry sauce base"... ugh. And you know the Bengalis who own these places are laughing their heads off at us for eating it.
  17. I think you underestimate parents and children. Yes, drawn out service and overly fussy food don't work. But at least in New York (can't speak for the rest of the country), I see plenty of kids eating things that are a darn sight better (or at least more interesting) than chicken fingers and macaroni cheese. Over here we have low expectations and restaurants that rarely try to exceed them. I had to laugh at today's Observer--said London was still one of the best cities in the world in which to eat out because it had so many top-notch restaurants. Totally missed the point of what makes a city great for foodies. As someone who doesn't have piles of money and can't afford to drop £50 a head every time I want a decent meal out, London can either make me cry or pull my hair out.
  18. Yep, microbial is fine. It's not the enzyme per se that's the problem; it's how it's obtained. There was a fuss about water which had to do with minute crustaceans. IMO, it was overblown, because we're only responsible for bugs we can see, and these weren't visible to the naked eye. However, bug paranoia has become the in thing in the past 10 years. (Don't get me started.. just look at Montreal Kosher's list of prohibited produce for supervised establishments. )
  19. Not a rabbi, but I THINK that rennet is not considered fleischig. Gelatine isn't; the processing is considered to render it pareve. However, commercially available rennet is not from animals that have undergone kosher slaughter, and hence it's not kosher. Kolatin, which is the only commercially available form of animal-derived gelatine, is from kosher-slaughtered cows. This is why yoghurts with "kosher gelatine" on the ingredients only have a K, not an OU: the gelatine comes from cows, but not ones that have undergone shechita. None of the mainstream supervision agencies in the US accept this. (It is accepted by the Chief Rabbinate in Israel; items with an ordinary "Rabbanut" [not mehadrin] hechsher may contain animal gelatine.) If, as I suspect, the situation with rennet is analagous, no mainstream supervised cheese will use animal rennet because they can't get supervision. Polly-O mozzerella cheese has a plain K, so it's probably animal rennet.
  20. As someone who moved from a 30" American oven to a European 60cm.... I'd say: Smaller fridge!! My only experience with 24" American stoves is my sister's old apartment one, the kind with the broiler on the bottom, but European ovens are tiny inside, max 16" wide inside and not very deep. Forget baking layer cakes (at least ones sized for American 9" pans), jelly rolls, or using your large cookie sheets. They won't fit. Also, many European ovens are catalytic ("continuous clean") rather than pyrolitic ("self-clean"), though perhaps you get more pyrolytic models in the States since it's standard there. You don't appreciate pyrolytic until you don't have it and have to use nasty smelling oven cleaner. Our fridge/freezer is 140x60x60cm, and yes, it's small. We have to shop a lot and there's no question of stocking up on things or freezing them. If you're looking at a 1.9-2m tall model, though, they fit quite a lot. Not as much as a giant American one, but it's very reasonable. (as for small kitchens... ours is about 5'x8', space is limited by the door to the balcony at one end, there's a rather useless broom cupboard, and we have the washing machine in there!)
  21. WHat characters in Dickens mean by "tea" (and what many English people mean today) is their evening meal. Especially up north, the meals are breakfast, dinner and tea. Nothing to do with crustless cucumber sandwiches and scones. (It's also a class thing: despite growing up in a rural family that ate the main meal at noon, my husband says lunch and dinner, because apparently it's not posh to eat your tea at 6pm.) An English friend of mine says Fortnum & Mason offers better value for money for afternoon tea, but I can't comment personally. Thankfully, my parents have never demanded to be taken out for it. (Although my grandmother wanted scones and clotted cream when we were in Devon, but that's all right. )
  22. Alexis

    Roasting a Chicken

    Breast down, 200C (fan) 20 mins. Turn, 5 more mins, down to 160 till cooked (I use a meat thermometer). I put a paste of garlic, olive oil (butter works better, actually, but not kosher), and lemon zest under the skin, and salt and paprika on top. I get perfect, moist, crispy-skinned chicken every time. Despite our dubious oven.
  23. Alexis

    French Onion Soup

    Another vote for Julia, but I don't use the flour (I prefer it clear) and I use more onions. I like a LOT of onions in my soup. IMO there are only 2 things you need to know for good onion soup: 1) Homemade beef stock 2) Cooking the onions properly to that perfect shade of brown That's it. If you do those right, you can't go wrong.
  24. Exactly. This is something I argue to a lot of the organic-fiends over here--it's a false dichotomy. "Non-organic" just means it doesn't fulfill all the requirements of the Soil Association, not that it's been doused with pesticides. In addition, the focus on things being purely organic means that conventional farmers have less incentive to invest in better techniques--they won't be rewarded for going partway. In its current form, organic agriculture can't satisfy all our needs and intermediate steps are necessary, but the crude division into organic and "conventional" fails to provide an incentive for this kind of improvement. And then some of them go and buy organic food from Tesco... well, what's the point?! Especially when it's been flown thousands of miles. (don't get me started on The Great Fairtrade Rip-Off.)
  25. Hmm. I'm not so sure that's the only reason. There's a cultural thing going on too. I'm from Long Island, and goodness knows that's full of families with kids, and yet there's plenty of restaurants. You don't get hugely exciting cuisine (the usual LI idea of fine dining involves the largest steak you can find) but it's pretty good and everyone goes out. You can always find a decent local Italian or American or Chinese place to go to when Mom doesn't want to cook. It's a sad commentary on the state of affairs that my (English) husband is amazed at the choice & price of restaurants near my parents' place! Of course, there's the LI JAP joke: What does the JAP make for dinner? Reservations. (NB: I'm Jewish and I'm allowed to make that joke.) Alternatively, we can blame Barnet and Camden councils for making it so utterly impossible to park that no one with children can risk taking them out unless it's to somewhere with its own car park.
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