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Everything posted by LuckyGirl

  1. I searched the archives but came up with surprisingly little on caviar. Do you have a preferred source for ordering both imported and domestic caviar? I last ordered from Plaza de Caviar but I'm wondering if I can do better on price and quality. My google search came up with "Marky's". They have the appearance of moving a lot of caviar which I would think is a good thing. I can't get past the idea of ordering caviar from a place named Mark's for some reason. Anyway, I would appreciate any input on the subject of buying caviar and having it shipped to me.
  2. Steve says thanks for the thanks! I would like to add my thanks to Angie for her generosity in hosting us at her church and for her efforts the whole day. Angie put in a great deal of work throughout the day and especially knocked herself out with how much she did to lead the clean up effort. Also my thanks to my husband Steve for fixing the dishwasher and manning it during the clean up and to Connie and Julie for how much they did in clean up! Also, EVERYTHING we had to eat Saturday was absolutely amazing. It almost doesn't seem right to single anyone out but at the same time it doesn't seem right not to specifically thank Tom for his HUGE gift of bread and Ronnie for his HUGE gift of meats and fish. Tom and Ronnie were both AMAZINGLY generous in what they brought to share with the group. My mind spins when I think about the amount of time and effort that each of them put into what they brought to share with us. So, not only were they extremely generous but what they shared was AMAZING. That pastrami? That sausage? That homemade bacon? That salmon? That brioche? That black bread? That rosemary bread? That sweet potato bread? YOU TWO ARE UNFRICKENBELIEVABLE! And, Nancy, I want to again say thanks to you for putting this great event together. You pulled together a weekend that blew us all away!
  3. What a great weekend we all had! I don't know how we all ate as much as we did; it doesn't seem possible. Dinner at Lola was amazing. Each course was spot on. There wasn't a single lacking dish the whole evening. The walleye was exceptional to me. I've eaten walleye my whole life and never seen fillets as thick as those that Lola served to us. Our server Paul took great care to make sure we all had the best time. As others have said, lunch at Carrie Cerino's was also amazing though none of us could manage more than a bite or two of each dish. None the less, those few bites were enough to taste the passion that went into the creation of each dish. The lentils are as amazing. I crave them regularly. As good as the food was when we dined out, the best part of the weekend for me was meeting those folks who I had not met before, hanging out with old friends and cooking together. I LOVE to cook with friends so I was in heaven Saturday! The kitchen was filled with fun, fellowship and generosity. In fact, I can sum up the wonderfulness of the weekend with the word "fellowship". Food and wine were the premise of what brought us together but it is the shared love and passion and knowledge that make it all so special. I'm sorry for those of you who weren't able to make it to Cleveland for this great weekend. I'm already dreaming about next year in Chicago!
  4. Hilarious on the other choices question. Re. the kids karts, TOTALLY agree!
  5. Wow, what a menu! I'm glad you all got to have the eggplant flan. I think that dish is stunning. To me, it is on par with what I would expect from a fine French restaurant with a star or two!
  6. LuckyGirl


    Thanks to all. I don't mind paying for gigantes so if anyone comes across them, please let me know. It's not necessarily the size I'm after rather the creaminess. So, I will try the marrow beans. I love the creaminess of canelli beans but the gigantes I've had were even creamier which is why I would like to find some. I'm looking forward to trying some of Rancho Gordo's beans. Just an FYI for you Rancho Gordo, when I did a google search for "where to buy beans", "bean merchant" etc. you didn't come up. Hopefully you can do something about that
  7. LuckyGirl


    Thanks tsquare. One type of bean I'm in search of is gigantes but I didn't see them on either site. if anyone has more suggestions I would appreciate it!
  8. Yes! BIG difference! I never much cared for pasta unless it was homemade until I discovered Rustichella D'abbruzzo pasta. Good pasta like Rustichella or Cavalieri are denser than commercial pasta. Most of them are also air dried as opposed to oven dried. The flavor of artisan pasta that use fine wheat are incredible. I adore the nuttiness of Rustchella. The texture given by cutting with bronze dies does indeed help sauce stick to the pasta. You can also feel more texture in your mouth. I am eager to hear back from you as you start trying some artisan pastas.
  9. I am looking for a web or mail order source for dried beans. Can anyone help me? TIA, Diane
  10. My two favorite not so known places- Pain Dor- This is a Syrian bakery in the Agrussa plaza at Dequinder and Wattles in Sterling Hts. Their flat breads are magical, absolutely like none other I've ever had. They do huge assortment of flat breads from a mild white cheese with parsley to the traditional zataar to spiced meat to various vegetable flat breads. They also make a pocket sort of bread- not pita, though they make that too, but more like a roll sort of bread filled with various meat and vegetable mixtures. They also make spinach pies and broccoli filled fold over bread. The selection is almost endless and each one will blow you away. Be sure to try the long slender fat looking bread stick which is sprinkled with sesame seeds and filled with some sort of creamy white cheese. The other place that I like a lot is across from The Eastern Market in the Planet Pizza shop. On Saturdays the space in the front of the shop is occupied by a French woman who sells her own French pastries, quiches etc. VERY NICE! P.S. Boagman, my husband and I are so pleased that we discovered Scotty Simpsons because of your post about the place on another message board. I can't tell you how much we dig the place. There is no other fish and chip place anywhere that can hold a candle to Scotty Simpson's IMO. And the fellow who owns the place is ABSOLUTELY wonderful as are all of the folks who work there.
  11. LuckyGirl

    Del Posto

    Oh my, that's so bad I'm stunned. I wonder how someone who could think that it's acceptable to tell your customer that your "just learning" or "I've tried that one and I know its good" could get hired for the postion of sommalier at Del Posto.
  12. LuckyGirl


    That's a good question as it gauges how likely I am to be satisfied with the dish at some of the places mentioned. I've only had paella a hand full of times and never at a Spanish restaurant. I've had it prepared by friends or in restaurant's that specialize in seafood. As lacking as NYC may be for notable or exceptional Spanish cuisine, let me tell you, Cleveland has less (though Cleveland has so much to offer in other dining departments!). Yep. I'm on the fence as to whether or not to include a Spanish dinner on our trip when there are so many other places of interest to us. We'll see.... it's that crazy craving thing....sometimes you've got to feed the beast. What a tease! Thanks to everyone for your input. Casa Mano, Tia Pol are up for consideration for Spanish minus paella. La Nacioanal is on the top of the list for paella especially since Nathan noted they achieve the crispy crust I'm looking for. So, is there any noteworthy Portuguese food around? Also, while I have your attention, what are the better places for dim sum? From what I've read, I should consider the places in Flushing? Thanks again!
  13. Howdy from Cleveland. I'll be in NYC in a few weeks. I have most of my food shopping and dining stops planned but I'm having a hard time deciding on a place to have paella. I get mad cravings for saffron in the spring and this dish is my favorite way to satisfy that craving. Would any of you please share your recs of places for this dish? Given that what is "good' or "great" is usually subjective, could you tell me why you like your particular pick? I am hoping to find a place that gets the rice on the bottom of the pan into a nice crust among other things. While I'm asking, what are some fave places for dim sum. Am I correct in heading to Flushing for it? TIA Diane
  14. The company was great. The dim sum was AWESOME as is Nancy's description of each dish.
  15. These fall into the once or twice a year category of indulgences- Skyline Chili- three way bologna sandwich- only Ekrich beef bologna will do grilled cheese with Kraft singles- O.K. this one is way more than once or twice a year especially since I have nieces and nephews that visit regularly. I have tried to find better alternatives but none hit the spot the way a Kraft single does. Last week I picked up an organic singles pack of cheese (actual real cheese too) they taste good on their own but in a grilled cheese sandwich, not as good as Kraft.
  16. I have two favorite salads- First, like several other posters, frisse, lardons and poached or fried egg makes one of my favorite salads. The balance though has to be right on the dressing i.e. enough vinegar to cut the fat. It's not a great salad when the dressing is mostly fat. I have also enjoyed this salad with tender, baby spinach. My other fave is my own simple creation- romaine or a baby green mix with toasted and chopped walnuts and pomegranate seeds tossed with a light drizzle of good evo and good pom vinegar (i.e. made from pomegranates not from flavoring). I love this salad and eat it several nights week all winter. I seed a whole pom at a time so the seeds are in the fridge ready to go. The brightness in color and taste of the pom seeds go a long way to cutting through the winter blahs for me. As for Thai salads as a few have mentioned, while i like them all, my FAVE is rare beef with toasted rice dressed with the usual fish sauce/chili/lime dressing but with the addition of a little tamarind paste.
  17. No raw on for me either. BLECH. Soak it in vinegar for a few minutes though and I'm O.K. with it. I'm not big on potato chips. That's probably one that would make folks go "huh?". It's not like I can't stand then, just don't like them very much. Now, freshly made chips? Oh yeah....
  18. I had the pleasure of making your acquaintance this last summer at VTR when you were in the states for a visit and I too don't like cheesecake. I dont think it is as offensive to me as it seems to be to you but I really don't like it, never eat it. Diane
  19. First, regarding cilantro. I was recently told there is a specific gene that leads to a hyper-sensitivity to cilantro. That being said I also know many people (myself included) who at one time really disliked cilantro but grew to be able to tolerate it or even enjoy it. For me, I gave up trying to pick it out of things and just tried to "deal" with it and from there I got used to it and now have to have it in many dishes where it is called for. My "no ways"- Any goats milk product. Like many people who have an extreme aversion to cilantro, I have a hyper-sensitive palate to goat's milk. I can taste it a mile away and it is a very offensive taste to me. On a scale of one to ten it's a ten for offensiveness. No goat meat for me either. No brains, glands or innards. No escargot. Escargot are the same as goats milk to me. On a scale of 1-10 as to how grassy or strong they are, while most people might say a 2-4, for me they are a ten plus, super strong. No bugs. I think that's about it.
  20. What resources are out there for planning trips that revolve around food and culture? Are there good guided trips that folks have experience with? Any good web sites for putting together one's own trip with the focus on food, cooking and culture? I am in the beginning stages of research for two trips that are in line on the travel agenda for my husband and I. We are interested in touring India and Russia (separate trips). Ideally we will have a month for each trip. Which trip we take first will depend a lot on how the plans come together. Also on the list of tours that we would like to do as shorter trips are Vietnam, Thailand, Italy and France. While we have travelled through Europe, we've never done a trip before with the specific focus being cooking and food so any help with these countries would also be of interest. We're certainly not looking to make all of these trips in short order but I would like to start planning and researching the bigger two trips, Russia and India. Also I would like to start researching what's available relative to cooking classes in Italy and France so that perhaps on shorter trips to those two countries we can work some thing in that is specifically food and cooking related. Don't feel the need to limit your responses to the countries that I mentioned in this post. I'm interested in your food and travel experiences across the globe! TIA, Diane
  21. My fave burger in Cleveland is at Close Quarters on Lake Rd. in Avon Lake. It's a tiny little place, you would miss it if you weren't looking for it. I swear they put crack in those burgers. They also cut fries to order. To give you some perspective on my taste, the only other place from which I'll order a burger is Red Coat Tavern in Detroit. I haven't had a Moxie burger but I look forward to trying one.
  22. Many thanks to everyone who posed their methods and suggestioins. I just made another batch and they turned out exactly as I was hoping for, like clouds! I took a little from each post and wound up doing the following- -Beat the egg whites to just short of stiff peaks -Lightly beat my yolks and added the oil and matzo to that bowl and then folded in the egg whites. -Cut down the oil by a third -Used club soda as the liquid -Let them simmer very gently, for the first half with the lid off the pan and for the second half covered. -Didn't salt the batter rather salted the water -Made the batter much looser than the previous batter even though I felt that one was pretty loose Thanks again! I feel II have mastered the making of light and fluffy matzoh balls.
  23. Below are my comments in response to a question about the evening from a fellow poster at Cleveland.com. I want to share them here too! Porkapaloozaa made for a very special evening. Michael Rhulman started out the dinner with a brief talk about the specific pig from which we would partake. He also spoke about the importance of insisting on humanely raised food and of knowing the source of one's food. It was a pleasure to here him speak. He seems deeply interested in effecting change in how and what we eat and he is able to talk about issues relating to that in a manner that is both thoughtful and conciliatory. He could be an iimportant part in the food movement in Cleveland to eat better and more local food. Cleveland is fortunate to have him here and I hope to see him become more involved in the food life of Cleveland. The pork dishes were simply amazing. Each course was well thought out and executed. From the starter of perfect salumis to the finish of an apple galette, each course was nothing short of stunning. I was very partial to the sweet Italian sausage that I believe had been made by the house. Each course was about the pork. No dish was overshadowed by seasonings or preparations rather the pork shined through in its own different way for each course. Finally, as much of the star of the evening was the pork, so to was the restaurant that hosted the event. Pchak, I know you and Sheb have mentioned this place before but Steve and I had never made it there for a meal. They were the second star of the show last night. From the executions of the kitchen to the superlative service Battuto really shined. I looked at their regular menu and though 'my gosh, this is one of the best menus in Cleveland". I can't wait to get back there soon for dinner.
  24. I made a batch of matzo balls last night and even though I followed the directions on the box, I wound up with sinkers that were rock hard. What are the tricks or methods for making light and fluffy matzo balls?
  25. LuckyGirl


    I've always preferred American lamb vs. Australian. I find Ameriican lamb more mild, less pungent. I don't cook much lamb but when I do I get it from a Halal butcher who tells me that it is locally raised baby lamb (raised by Amish). Baby lamb adds a whole other dimension to the picture. It is very tender and mild.
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