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Everything posted by LuckyGirl

  1. Everything was as it always is except the eggs: stainless sauce pan, whisk, serving ladle, pottery serving vessel, local butter (same butter we always use and there was no taste difference in the butter) and fresh lemon juice. The only difference was the eggs. The hollandaise was served with asparagus and grilled lamb chops, same as every Easter. I'm not sure that if you eat grocery eggs regularly that you would pick up on a particular taste unless you ate other eggs for a while then went back or maybe did a side by side. Like anything else, our taste buds get used to what we have on a regular basis. Other than the eggs, the only thing I can think of is that something else we ate effected the way the hollandaise tasted. We had a fresh herb/chimichurri-ish sauce of garlic, rosemary, mint and basil. This is a sauce we almost always have with lamb chops but not one that I myself usually eat though I did yesterday. That is the only thing I can think of that was different for me than usual. Also, only two others noted the metallic taste but it seemed much less intense to them as it was to me. This is the kind of food/tasting mystery that I find fascinating but also that drives me a little batty.
  2. I had a hollandaise sauce yesterday that had a foul, metallic taste that was so strong it made the sauce inedible. My mom made the sauce and she made it the same way she always does (stainless pot and whisk) except for the eggs. The eggs that were used were commercial/grocery store eggs. I'm thinking this horrible taste must have been from the eggs. It's been years since I've consumed grocery store eggs and I'm wondering what about them could have such a strong metallic taste? Any ideas?
  3. I've done a site search and looked through past posts on dining in Cannes but have found very little so I'm wondering if a new post/query might find new input. I will be in Cannes for two weeks in October. My time in Cannes will be an even mix of cooking in and dining out. I would be appreciative of any and all suggestions for dining out. I enjoy all types of cuisine and am just as happy eating on the street as eating at a fine, starred restaurant. Most of the dining on this trip should be in the lower to moderate price range though one or two splurges is likely. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  4. After being a Fage consumer for the past several years I just tried the Trader Joe's Greek Style Yogurt and I am in love! It's even richer and creamier than Fage. I love the velvety texture. I am dying to know who makes it for them. I've scoured the internet but haven't found any tells. The only other yogurt I've had that is the dense, creamy and delicious is Liberte, hmmmm I wonder...
  5. Nancy, I will double check with Steve and get back to you with our final plans. I have two different fish sauces that I can bring if it will. Save a trip to the Asian market. Not sure what time I will get to the gathering but my guess is around 3. Tom, I can bring a few bread baskets.
  6. Boo I'm hoping to be able to finish up my day Thursday to maybe meet up with the group for the crawl but I won't know until last minute. I hope you can make it to the brunch but if not it would be great to get together sometime. At least we should be at happy hour together!
  7. Hi there. Steve and I are both in for the group meal on Saturday. I will not be able to be part of the shopping excursion as I will be working my stand at the market but hopefully I will see everyone there! I'm not sure if I will be done with my market day in time to cook with everyone but I will sure try. In any event, I plan to bring pies! Steve and I would also like to attend the Sunday brunch. Steve would like to attend happy hour at VTR and dinner at Greenhouse Tavern. If I finish baking early enough I would love to join everyone at VTR but I won't be able to make it for dinner.
  8. Ever since I was a little girl one of my favorite things has been beet stem pancakes. Chop the beet stems, toss with a little more than equal amount of flour then add water until batter is about the thickness of pancake batter (batter works best when it is on the loose side). Drop spoonfuls of the batter into hot oil and fry on each side until dark brown. Salt as soon as they come out of the pan.
  9. Add me to the list of those who eat the tails when the shrimp has been fried, grilled also works. I actually like the tails.
  10. I just spent a few minutes on the site and it seems that everything is gone already. They are indeed closing. http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8455&start=30
  11. It was a busy trip and I only had the chance to stop at the Ten Ren shop in Brooklyn and that was a big disappointment. I was immediately told that the smallest quantity I could purchase of any tea was 1/4 pound. I was surprised given that I can order sample quantities of any of Ten Ren's teas online but I wasn't going to argue with the women; I just left.
  12. Wow, that's drastic. i too hope this isn't a last hurrah. While they may not be my favorite tea shop to order from I've enjoyed many of their teas. Thanks for the heads up.
  13. Not tea per se but my sick drink is steeped ginger. I don't bother peeling the ginger just slice into discs and let it simmer in water for a little while. Maybe a small amount of honey but not necessarily. I use this mostly for colds but often drink it just for the comfort of it. For a funny stomach I like whatever silver needles tea I have on hand. Lately I've been drinking Norbu's silver needle tea and it is greatly comforting on a cold night funny tummy or not.
  14. Thank you, scottie. I will look into both and much appreciate your help.
  15. I finally found more current info and learned that Melampo was sols and is now Alidoro, offering the same menu. Has anyone been lately?
  16. Is Melampo still open for business? I had a few sandwiches from there a few years ago and am still thinking about them. I would like to make a stop there on an upcoming trip. TIA
  17. There are new shortenings being made now that are labeled as "trans fat free" though they can still contain small amounts (half a gram per serving, I believe)of partially hydrogenated oils and as much fully hydrogenated oil as the maker cares to use. I think shortening of any kind is gross stuff thus my search for Italian bakeries that don't use it but it is proving impossible to find one.
  18. Is there such a think anymore as an Italian bakery that bakes without shortening? If so, I would like to check them out on my upcoming visit to the city. I will be staying in the Financial District but will travel anywhere for a really great Italian bakery that doesn't use shortening. Specifically, I am looking for places that make all butter or butter/lard sfogliatelle. I assume that if bakeries in NYC use lard it is non-hydrogenated lard? Doesn't even have to be an Italian bakery. Really my search is for sfogliatelle so if there are notable ones in non-Italian bakeries I would love to find them.
  19. Most of the flavor from the Szechuan Peppercorn is in that outer hull: when I cook with them, I remove the inner seed portion and grind the outer hull in a mortar and pestle. I don't think the final dish has anything visually recognizable as a Szechuan Peppercorn, though of course the flavor is quite distinct. I also always toast them, which greatly increases their intensity and changes the flavor a bit as well, so it's possible that step was omitted where you had them. Finally, it's quite a lot of work to separate out that center hard nub, so if the restaurant took the lazy route and used the whole thing they were using a much smaller percentage of the flavorful part of the peppercorn. I don't recall the center nub having much flavor to speak of, I doubt it accounts for your "soapy" flavor. Regarding the white pepper: I find that nothing else out there quite has that flavor. Certainly not any of the other peppercorns of any color. I think if the dish tasted of white pepper, it's just because there was in fact a lot of white pepper in there. Intersteing observations and thoughts. Thank you.
  20. Old SPs could explain the not very intense numbing effect but it wouldn't explain the strange taste that all the dishes had where "SPs" were used unless when SPs get old they go rancid and turn the nice delicate citrusiness to a overpowering soapiness (I actually wondered about that). I've been thinking about this mystery all afternoon. As I thought back on the dinner it seems to me that perhaps one of the first dishes we had, Ma La Noodles, may have had some discernable SP "skin", i.e. what is normally used, though the rest of the dishes I recall having more of what was like craked peppercorns. I'm wondering if one were to use (assuming you could get them) the whole SP as opposed to the skin or shell that is usually used if it would accout for this overwhelming off/soapy taste.
  21. While we don't have much in the way of Szechuan cooking in restaurants here in Cleveland I have enjoyed wonderful Szechuan in other cities. I adore the mouth tingling feeling, heat and light citrus notes that these non-peppercorns give to Szechuan dishes. So, last night I had dinner at a place that boasted some Szechuan dishes on their menu and I left the place puzzled over what I had eaten and I am hoping that folks here can help me with this mystery. The dishes we had last night were different in several ways from any other I've had where SP (Szechuan Peppercorns)were used. First of all, the level of mouth numbingness and heat was about 1/3 of what I've experienced before. Secondly, none of the dishes where SPs were used had the light citrus notes I've experienced (and greatly enjoyed)in the past but rather gave off a very forward floral almost soapy taste. I didn't observe small pieces of the outer "shell" as I have in the past rather the dishes were full of what seemed more like cracked peppercorns i.e. there was a clear "corn" vs the "shell" usually used. Finally, in addition to the strong and offensive (to me) soapy flavor there was a very strong taste of what seemed like white pepper in all of the dishes. I realize that it could have been that a lot of white pepper was used in each dish but I'm wondering if it is also related to whatever was used it the dishes and called Szechuan peppercorns. I did some cursory looking on the internet and found that pink peppercorns and grains of paradise are sometimes used in place of SPs. I came home and smelled my jars of Szechuan peppercorns and pink peppercorns. The smell of the SPs was nothing like what we had in our dishes last night. The smell of the pink peppercorns faintly resembled the taste in our dishes but was not spot on. I have no grains of paradise to smell. I am wondering if folks have any ideas of what we may have had based on my description of the dishes being forward with white pepper flavor and much soapiness (sort of like the soapiness from cilantro but not exactly), not as mouth numbing and lacking in the citrus notes I have experienced from SPs in the past. TIA for any help you can offer in helping me solve this mystery. This is the kind of thing that can make me nuts until I solve the mystery.
  22. Tonight, and the past few nights, I have been enjoying Norbu's, Yunan Silver Needles. It's funny that last year when I first tasted it I really disliked the cup full of camphor that it gives but here I am a year later loving it.
  23. Thanks, baroness. Ten Ren is on my list. I've enjoyed ordering from them in the past and am looking forward to checking out at least one of their shops. Will, thanks for the heads up. I'm surprised that I'm not finding more notable tea shops in NYC.
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