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Everything posted by Magictofu

  1. I have tried a new restaurant on Somerset called Ju Xiang Yuan and it is distinctively different from the other Chinese restaurants around. It serves the type of spicy cumin lamb kebabs that you can find on many streets in China as well as a number of fairly spicy dishes. If you like organ meat (including stomach and intestines) you won't be disapointed. The exact location is 641 Somerset, just East of Bronson.
  2. There is a little touristy town in NB called Bouctouche where oysters are raised. There is a beautiful sand bar there and the water is surprisingly warm. In Kouchibouguac National Park nearby you can also get a daily permit for clam picking. Lobster is also abundant in the region. I really like this area and can't stop talking about it.
  3. Wow, thanks again for the historical details!
  4. I often make an open face sandwich with crusty bread, mustard, ham, asparagus and gruyere cheese. Another staple in the spring here is crepes stuffed with asparagus in some sort of creamy sauce (e.g. béchamel, sauce aurore, etc.). But when we get very fresh asparagus in good quantities from the garden we barely steam them and eat them with nothing else, not even salt. When we buy asparagus we generally add a bit of olive oil and salt.
  5. Magictofu

    Ramps: The Topic

    Are they already available in the US?
  6. I don't dispute this interpretation of Albufera sauce but when you google "sauce albufera" and request only French results you will see that most recipes call for foie gras as a base and thickening agent. I wonder if this is a recent evolution.
  7. Thanks for sharing your work with all of us. I particularly enjoys the information on the origin of the recipe. I am not an expert on cuisine classique but I always thought of sauce albufera as a foie-gras sauce (which it goes without saying is very good with chicken). I wonder if there are many variations of particular sauces and topings that share the same name.
  8. Onions, leeks, tomato, pepper, artichoke and eggplant seedlings are now growing indoor under fluorescent lights. In a few weeks I will plant lettuce, kale, swiss chard and other greens indoors to transplant them outside in late april. Cucumbers, squashes, ground cherries and tomatillos, among others, will wait even longer. By mid June, everything should be planted in the garden; from now to then feels like an eternity... at least its mapple syrup season.
  9. I am surprized no one mentionned cheese in a spray can yet. There is no easier way to dispense salty orange goo on your toast: a true technological miracle!
  10. I have seen mizuna and perilla in some of the seed catalogs I receive every year. Try Stokes, Veseys, Solana orThe Cottage Gardener. Otherwise, Seeds of Diversity is a great resource to locate seed providers. Hope this helps.
  11. Salicorna grows wild in the maritimes. Find almost any rocky shore and you should be able to pick your own. The tastiest ones I found were growing in the St. Lawrence Estuary; because the water is not as salty as in other places, the plants there were not overly salty. I like them raw or barely warmed. When cooked, this plant turns to mush very fast.
  12. I'm in the opinion that the current way our agricultural system is being developed is unsustainable and that we run the risk of having to face a major disaster related to food-production one day or another. It could come from treatment resistant bugs to the fast spread of a disease affecting one of our genetically weak major crops (e.g. corn or wheat) or simply because from the effects of climate change on certain regions (Read US energy secretary and nobel laureate Steven Chu's comments on how agriculture could disapear in California over the next decades here or here.). Buying "local" and "organic" helps but most efforts in this direction only address these larger issues marginally.
  13. The New York Times has an article on this very issue here. It contains some very interesting comments:
  14. Magictofu

    Fowl "en Vessie"

    If you can wait a bit longer, I can translate some of the recipes above.
  15. Magictofu

    Fowl "en Vessie"

    I found a few other recipes calling for Madeira wine (the first here and the other one by Alain Chapel here) . Another one (here), by Michel Guérard, using fruits (apples and grapefruit).
  16. Magictofu

    Fowl "en Vessie"

    I don't have the book but from what I have read online, you might find the recipe in "Paul Bocuse, La cuisine du marché, Flammarion (1976)". I also found a recipe in French. Here, the sauce is made with foie gras and Juras wine. Another recipe, also in French, with lots of pictures can be found here. Here vin jaune is also used and the author explains that you can finish the sauce with butter or foie gras. Let me know if you need me to translate something particular.
  17. This is a very nice menu! I think it is very smart to divide it in two categories like that. It might even help with the flow as people are likely to focus on one table at the time. It looks like it's a bit short on fruits and vegetables though.
  18. Instead of finding ways to offers more information to your guests, you could also find ways for them to communicate more directly with you. This would be very challenging considering that you would probably be very busy in the kitchen but I think that this is one of the main idea behind the trend of opening up the kitchens of restaurants. I would however avoid information overload... after all dinning out usually means eating with people... if your custummers are distracted by technology or information, I'm not sure you will achive your goal of making their evening more pleasurable.
  19. In my opinion, diversity is key in a buffet. That does not mean that you need a hundred dishes (this would be highly counter productive and to make sure people don't get angry at you for not providing enough of a particular dish, you will end up with a lot of waste) but that you should aim at delivering a mix or usual and more exotics offerings; offer a variety of textures and colors; hot, warm and cold dishes; etc. There have been some terrific suggestions so far. Here's a few of my ideas: - Verrines are easy to assemble and serve. - You can shape parmeson truiles in muffin cups and stuff them with whatever you feel. - Octopus almost always produce a great effects on those who try it for the first time and can be cut into small bites. - Choux pasty can be savoury and used for canapes. - A good meatball stew is cheap and is certain to please even the least adventurous eater. It also allows you to showcase your prowess by serving something better than what most people would expect from something that familiar. - A soup is also easy to keep warm. - You don't have to cook everything, cheese platter, pickles, nuts, fruits, etc. can have a great effect. - Don't forget to serve really good bread
  20. Magictofu

    Easy Tofu recipes

    If you can get your hands on very fresh soft tofu, you can simply eat it as is, cold or still slightly warm, maybe with a few drops of sesame oil. There are very few things that satisfying.
  21. You can use a very good veal broth, infuse a bunch of your favourite dried wild mushrooms in it, strain into a pan where shallots have been lightly browned and deglazed with sherry, strain again, and serve as a consommé topped with a bit of a milk based foam or even very lightly whipped cream. These "mushroom expressos" have been quite popular in recent years.
  22. Bacon is tasty and will remain so for years to come. The current trend in using bacon as branding/advertising tool will hopefully pass soon.
  23. When visiting my partner's familly in a small town in Hubei, China, I decided to get up early to help one of my partner's relative, who owns a small breakfast restaurant, prepare baozi and mantou (steamed buns). Although the buns I made were not the nicest ones, far from it, that little breakfast restaurant was extremely popular that morning. It was fun to see people still drowsy getting all exited at the sight of what they probably assumed to be a rich westerner working there.
  24. Magictofu

    Lamb, et. al.

    In my opinion, the key thing to remember here is that you will be serving your lamb with a morel risotto. As such, I would avoid the stronger tasting pieces of lamb and go for fairly lean racks or loins. You can remove the extra fat yourself, this is where most of the stronger flavour will come from. With little fat, you will want to serve it medium rare to keep it juicy. I usually like my lamb on the strong tasting side but I always found morels to be as delicious as they are delicate and therefore that they better complement lighter flavours.
  25. I see humour on many menus these days and it often helps making food more approchable, particularly food that is a bit unusual. It just shows that there is a multi-dimensional aspect to food... it is not just about taste and texture, food can also be an intellectual or emotional experience. Great cooks certainly do play with all these dimensions. It reminds me of a discussion I had a while ago with some friends about the role of humour and jokes in "avant-garde" music. The particular focus of that discussion was about a few pieces by John Zorn / Naked City, here's a few examples: batman
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