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Everything posted by MikeHartnett

  1. As I've said every time the issue comes up, cooking things intended for "beginners" leaves you cooking like a beginner. If you are truly interested in authentic Thai, this is your bible. And to reiterate something mentioned above, Thompson stresses to adjust things to your taste. One of my absolute favorite qualities of this book is that he tells you what each thing is intended to taste like, e.g., "hot, salty, and slightly sweet." It's sort of amazing how few cookbooks give you guidance as to what you should be aiming for in that regard. With respect to curry pastes, I've never used a commercial paste in my own cooking, but I have to find a Thai restaurant in New Orleans that does not use commercial pastes. And to be frank, every single one of them sucks in comparison to mine. Even when I'm missing an ingredient, or the paste doesn't come out perfectly. The level of control over the flavors and texture in a homemade curry paste is something that, with time and patience, you'll very likely grow to appreciate. On top of all that, it's important that something be appealing to you. I usually try to make things exactly to spec the first time, then adjust after that. Maybe something tastes odd to you initially, but grows on you as you eat. Maybe not. But if you add a bit more palm sugar or fish sauce and it's delicious, I don't think anyone's going to take issue with it. And if you use a store-bought curry paste and like it, good for you. As long as you're happy with it, and as long as you're eating Thai food, which is vastly underappreciated outside of pad thai and the like.
  2. Same here. Really not a big deal.
  3. I do it weekly. It may not bring the perfect results of professional equipment, but it's incredibly convenient, it works very well, and it brings a level of customization to the coffee experience you can't otherwise get. Personally, I prefer coffees with a lot of brightness, so I go on Sweet Maria's, choose brighter coffees, and tend to roast them in the city to city + range. That way, I get what I want out of coffees, and if I don't, it's my own fault.
  4. MikeHartnett

    Dinner! 2012

    In direct reaction to percyn, but really, to everyone: the things eGulleters consider "mundane," 99% of the population would consider an anniversary dinner.
  5. Hey Celeste- where'd you find that yogurt around here? Whole Foods?
  6. MikeHartnett

    Dinner! 2012

    I didn't do on purpose to start with but then I thought why not...lately I've been thinking I should keep more often meat as a condiment as at my grandmothers times. Very much in agreement on that.
  7. Anytime PR says "affordable" with respect to a genre of food that's already affordable, it translates to "we're going to make it fancier and hope you believe us when we tell you it's affordable 'for what it is.'" Translation of the ridiculous sentence I just wrote: when a restaurant with PR tells you it's affordable, run.
  8. MikeHartnett

    Dinner! 2012

    Franci, that meal is very interesting. Sort of juxtaposes the traditional meat and side of vegetables.
  9. bā-, -səl = "bay-zill". If you don't believe me, click the audio version of the pronunciation (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/basil). The second audio clip is "bay-zill".
  10. The one that gets me is pronouncing habanero as though there's a tilde over the "n" when there isn't. This one's to the point where you end up looking dumb if you pronounce it correctly.
  11. I put myself entirely in this camp. Not that I'm supporting drinking French press coffee. In that arena, I'm in the vac pot/pour over/espresso camps.
  12. Well, it seems like he plans on reopening in a different location, and he's also working with another chef on a French-Vietnamese restaurant called Tamarind.
  13. FYI, Dominique's chef when that article was written, Dominique Macquet, left the restaurant, and it recently reopened under a different name. I'd avoid it because of the transition. Maybe it's great, but I haven't heard anything yet.
  14. I haven't been recently, but I did work there briefly several years ago. Chef Boswell is one of the most driven people on the planet, and I would put money on the fact that it's as good as ever.
  15. Well, depending on the type of gumbo you're cooking, the color you want the roux changes. For chicken and andouille, you generally want it (or I do, anyway) the darkest you can get without burning it. It's pretty difficult to guess how long it might "coast" after you kill the heat, but also, you REALLY need to be stirring it the whole time it's cooking, or you'll get burnt spots, which ruins the whole roux and forces you to start over. Give it a try the traditional way, and I think you ='ll see why people keeps doing it that way... And good luck!
  16. I've made the blueberries and cream cookies, the bagel bombs, and the cinnamon bun pie. The first two were awesome- highly recommend. The cinnamon bun pie did not turn out well AT ALL, and I'm not sure if it's a recipe problem or a me problem. The dough used is the same as the bagel dough, with no adjustments made for sweetness, etc. The liquid cheesecake is not sweet, nor is the brown butter, beyond its light inherent sweetness. There is some brown sugar strewn on, along with the streusel, which has enough salt in it to basically cancel out any sweetness it might have provided. So it was basically a quick bread with some un-sweet versions of typically sweet things on top. Additionally, there was a huge amount that was just bread, with no topping at all. Just weird. Anyone else try making this?
  17. I don't think being solo will be a problem at all at Cochon. They have both a typical bar and a bar with a kitchen view that you could sit at. Plus, Cochon's small plates are pretty conducive to mixing and matching to suit your appetite, and they get tourists by the boatload, so I'm sure they'll understand you not being able to take home leftovers. And the dress code is more or less whatever you feel like. People frequently wear shorts and aren't out of place.
  18. Adding the vegetables without heating them first helps cool down the roux and stop it from overcooking or burning. Not sure if there's more to it than that.
  19. Whoops! I'm sure it can be replaced- you just need to get some smokiness and umami in there somehow...
  20. Refried beans- look no further: http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2007/03/life-pursuit-refried-beans.html
  21. I think you're looking at Cochon Butcher, which is very, very good, but personally, I would recommend Cochon over it. Butcher is a sandwich and small plates kind of place-- we go there for lunch a lot. Cochon is a sit-down restaurant. If you do choose Butcher, though, those sound like good choices; my girlfriend loves the brisket sliders, too.
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