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Vicious Wadd

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  1. Any difference in taste or texture? BTW, thanks again for the emails regarding my rolled leg of lamb experiment. It came out great. I'll post pics sometime soon. Currently, I have a "deconstructed osso buco" cooking in a 135 degree water bath. It will be consumed at the 26-27 hour mark this evening. Best, - VW
  2. Vicious Wadd

    Watermelon Rind

    Now that looks pretty interesting. Maybe this is the next big food trend: sous vide pickled watermelon rind spherification foam.
  3. Vicious Wadd

    Watermelon Rind

    One of the most horrific food memories from my youth was eating my Aunt Florences' pickled watermelon rind. Second only to eating another one of her conconctions, called "pickled chow chow." Likely not the response you were looking for, but airing that dirty laundry with my fellow eGulleters felt pretty cathartic.
  4. If that original Arlington location is in the Clarendon / Courthouse area, then that's right up the road from where I work (Ballston), so I'll have to give that one a try. Usually not the kind of lunch I would want during the work week though (burp) Just as a personal anecdote, my wife's office is in the general vicinity and two of her employer's recent Italian interns became total Five Guys junkies while they lived here. She said they ate there several days per week. I can picture them returning to the old world with 10 pounds of lard around their waist from all that American fast food.
  5. Thanks for the replies, folks. It was interesting to note how varied the experiences were. Just to throw my own into the mix, as I mentioned, my single point of reference being the Woodstock location, it was: - Clean and well staffed - The fries were fresh cut (the bags of potatoes actually lined the walls) - The burgers were grilled to order. They were not greasy. - As well, the fries were crisp, not greasy. It was several orders of magnitude better than BK, McDonalds, Wendy's and the like. I would gladly pay the extra premium to duplicate that experience, but it appears quality varies widely from location to location.
  6. For those of you in the DC Metro area, the burger joint Five Guys has something of a cult following. I have dined at only one location in the chain, the Five Guys in Woodstock, VA, just off I-81. Now the point of my story... I just visited my in-laws a couple weeks ago and the topic of Five Guys came up. My mother-in-law said she tried the one near Potomac, MD (recently opened, I believe) and said the food was terrible. It wasn't even cooked to order, just kept under a heat lamp she said. I was a bit surprised, having really liked the burgers from the Woodstock location. So I urged her to stop by the one there for a second chance. (It's on the way to a cabin they have in WV, in case you're wondering why anyone would undertake such a trip for a burger). Fast forward to the next day: my wife and I are heading back from said cabin and we're on 81 North around lunch time -- so we decide to stop by the Five Guys in Woodstock... It's gone. Shuttered up. A big banner is draped across the front window announcing a soon-to-open Mexican Restaurant. We head across the street to a local shopping mall looking for an alternative. I stop in an Italian pizza/sub/pasta joint and order some take out; then head back outside to check on the wife, who's outside with the dog. The misses is already knee deep in conversation with two women on lunchbreak from Walmart (dogs are great conversation starters). What they said really surprised me: "I knew they wouldn't last! You can't charge $5 for a hamburger when you can get one at McDonald's for $1.00!" People don't have that kind of money here! Not in this economy!" I go back inside the Italian joint to get the food. The owner walks up, says it'll be a couple more minutes. So I say: "I see Five Guys closed." He gets this smirk on his face, and in a very heavy Italian accent (guess the place is authentic!) he says: "Who gonna pay fi' dollars for a hamburger? I mean, dey cook on grill like dat (motions to stainless grill behind him)... if they cook on a-coal, ok... I could see... maybe... you a-charge more, but dey cook on same grill I a-charge hamburger for two dolla'! People wan' hamburger, dey come here. Get same a-ting. Dis isn''t Northern Virginia! People here na' gonna pay fi' dolla' for hamburger when you can getta for two dolla'!" Between Woodstock and Potomac, a couple bad patterns seem to emerge: (1) a worsening economy resulting in the failure of a location with good quality control; and (2) a new location with poor quality control serving bad burgers. Did Five Guys expand too fast?
  7. Correct. Which is a major goof-off distraction at my desk when I should be working. Great show. But I had to laugh when I read chileheadmike's daughter comments!
  8. Vicious Wadd

    Poached Eggs

    I would add that water depth may also mitigate feathering. I recall a post from Fat Guy some time ago on Tavern on the Green (??? -- my memory's a bit sketchy) on their brunch service and noted that the eggs they poached for Benedict were added to a reasoably deep pot of water. As the egg descended, it essentially caused the white to pouch vertically as it coagulated -- thus yielding nice, tightly formed poached eggs. Any tails were snipped with scissors.
  9. Vicious Wadd

    Dinner! 2008

    How did you like the texture of the short ribs compared to traditional braising? I find the ones I prepare CSV are firmer and while tender, not quite as "fork tender". ← In answer to your question, they definitely had more integrity than some of the fall-apart ones I have cooked in a traditional braise. The recipe was based loosely on Daniel Boulud's 30 hour short rib recipe. While mine were tender and tasty, I could see how the extra five hours would have been beneficial.
  10. Vicious Wadd

    Dinner! 2008

    Last night it was short ribs cooked sous vide for 25 hours at 151F. They were seasoned with Chinese five-spice. I brushed them with a hoisin sauce-spiked BBQ sauce which I glazed under the broiler. Sides included a sweet potato puree (pictured underneath) and braised baby bok choy.
  11. Thank Ruth. I ate them last night and I would say, next time, I will back off a bit on the five spice. As to tenderness, what you predicted turned out to be true. They were very good and tender, but not quite as fork-tender as I would have liked. That said, of the sous vide meats I have cooked so far, this has to be my favorite and I will definitely be experimenting with short ribs in the future. Best Regards, - VW
  12. Question about short ribs: As I type this, some short ribs are bathing at 151F. I'm loosely basing the temperature and cooking time on Daniel's 30 hour short ribs. Two questions: (1) Dinner time will be at approx. the 25 hour mark. Will the difference of 5 hours make or break this dish? (2) Anyone use Chinese Five Spice in SV preparations? I've read that some seasonings can get overpowering with prolonged cooking times. I hope this isn't one of them. Best, - VW
  13. Vicious Wadd

    Capers

    A few people mentioned puttanesca. Take that same concept and apply the underlying ingredients -- including capers -- to other dishes: e.g. over grilled chicken, in stews, etc. One great dish I copied from Red Eye in NYC is a tagine-baked sea bass with olives, roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, and yes, capers. It's fantastic. Another great match with capers is smoked salmon. Fan out the salmon on a platter, scatter the capers on top and add a squeeze of lemon. Those piquant little bursts help punch through the richness of the salmon. Lastly, to reduce the briny/salty taste, many recipes will call for a little rinse under cold water. I tend to do this most of the time I use capers, especially if there are other salty ingredients in the dish.
  14. Vicious Wadd

    Squab

    Thanks, VW, Do you hunt doves? How are they different from squabs? ( I never had one) ← Yes; I do hunt doves. The game bird species is the migratory mourning dove. I believe pigeons (squab) are bred commercially for their meat, so it's a different animal altogether (pun intended). Even full grown doves are pretty small, so small, I only eat the breast. In that respect, the meat resembles the two lobes pictured in your post. Like squab, it's also a dark meat, and cooks up to a redish brown. As far as how they compare taste-wise, it's been awhile since I had squab; but I tend to prefer doves. I'd say they are somewhat comparable in texture, but IMHO doves are bit more gamey and firm-fleshed. I remember the few squab experiences I have had invariably have a "bloody" taste, for lack of a better term. Once difference in the taste between the two could be attributable to the fact all the doves I've had have been wild birds; and therefore lean and gamey. That's why sous vide would work well, because they can be very easily overcooked. Best, - VW
  15. Mike: That looks excellent. I'm tempted to mimic this for doves when the season opens.
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