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Everything posted by sharonb

  1. Yuck... Does it come with soot in it? (I'm just remembering how Christmas decorations on the Champs-Elysees a couple of years go had to be taken down only a few days after being put up, because they had grown thick, grey stalactites.) In any case, it sounds about as tempting as the Montmartre wine! Alas!
  2. Dave, you Southerners just like sharp chèvre like Banon or young 'uns soaked in oil or other weird things... No, just kidding. Selles sur Cher is a little bland (though I was moved to see the producers of yours are in Pontlevoy, where there was a great Michelin bib gourmand restaurant I ate in a couple of years back). And gaperon! Great, weird cheese. Doesn't it have raw chunks of garlic in it? As for me, I have recently been startled to enjoy some very artisanal Camembert, which I haven't eaten in a coon's age. (I usually, who knows why, skip things like Camembert or Brie, even when they can be excellent if done right.) No one here yet (I think) has mentioned one of my favorite, favorite cheeses: Tête de Moine. Also, really aged and crumbly Comté (24 months). Young Comté is one of the two cheeses in the world I hate!
  3. I have finally entered and read this great thread! I wish I could participate with pictures, but I don't have a digital camera... Went shopping at the Mouffetard market street here in Paris's 5th arrondissement this morning, to round out our cheese platter, which only had four tiny, dwindling morsels left: - Mimolette extra-vieille (24 month) - Crottin de chavignol - Livarot - Trappe d'Échourgnac The last is a cow's milk cheese with a soft, rubbery texture not unlike Morbier (without the stripe), squat and round, with a dark brown rind that has been refined with walnut liqueur. The first time I had this, a year and a half ago, I loved it - was crazy about it. Had it a few times, sporadically, then gave it a rest. Came back to it last week, and was disappointed - the walnutty taste overpowers the cheese element! I even ate some without the rind... C'est dire. Today, after reading these delicious illustrated posts, I was in the mood for a Rocamadour or Cabécou - but didn't see any good ones at the cheese shop. So I added three more cheeses to the platter: - St-Marcellin - the runny stage, not the hard type (which I don't like). - Reblochon fermier - Petit fiancé des Pyrénées - a brie-like goat's milk cheese, runny and pungent. Mm! As far as (going back up this thread) Laguiole tasting like eggs goes - I disagree with that, like many of the responses. However, as far as cheese tasting like other things, that reminded me that when Salers is really, really tasty in the fall, it can almost taste like cookie dough!
  4. Oh my lord, that truffade is intense. (And I'm not even a potato fan!) Brilliant poster for the aligot géant. Reminds me of the "fête de la tomate farcie" in a village near where I spent summers...
  5. Shudder... I was faced with a bowl of them a couple of weekends ago at my boyfriend's parents' place. I went for the cherry tomatoes instead.
  6. This is the first eGullet blog I've read, and today when people started talking about it being over, I felt bereft! Dave, this was just brilliant, and I admit to checking in several times a day. Bravo!
  7. Mm, that brain looks so good. Poached, scalloped, sauteed and throw in some capers. Or the tongue cooked then eaten cold w/ vinaigrette or rémoulade sauce. Still can't help about the other organ...
  8. Hmm, I dunno. St. Nectaire is a big, cave-aged tomme-like cheese, not a little one in a dish in the St. Marcellin/St. Félicien style.
  9. You mean St. Marcellin, I think... Dave, this blog is excellent! I am loving every post of it. I miss rural France! I used to spend my summers in the Berry. To answer the question about Philadelphia, it is available (at least in Paris) in big stores like le Bon Marché and Galeries Lafayette and a few upscale Monoprix stores. The label tends to be in English and German, so I think it's imported from somewhere closer than America (though no idea if it's different than the American version; I'm not a cream-cheese fan - though I did make a cheesecake once that turned out right; I made one another time with St. Moret, a French product that's similar, but it was much thinner and had less tang. As for "à la mode" - no idea how it got applied to ice cream, though it's a traditional way of preparing beef stew! It's even shortened to "bœuf mode" but was originally "bœuf à la mode".
  10. I don't know why brain wouldn't be freezable. I'd avoid the gallbladder, though. But there must be some lung in there, which is delicious!
  11. I love marrow. In some bistros, you can get it as a first course with toast and fleur de sel. I also can get it at my butcher's. But how do I cook it at home? Broil it? For how long? What temperature? I've heard of it being poached, but I think that's for stew-type dishes, where the marrow leaves the bone and becomes part of the sauce. I want the marrow to stay in the bone, to be scooped out and put on toast! (As a side note, exactly how much fat does marrow have in it? Is it basically all fat?)
  12. No, strangely I still like them, and from time to time come back to them (esp. fried eggs, excellent after a previous night's excessive drinking). I'm thinking I may do this because I skip breakfast. So rather than have the same cereal or same toast or yogurt or whatever, I want some kind of repetitive food, which might be comforting in some way... I love to eat seasonal foods, and at dinnertime, that's what it's all about. My dinners are varied and in the French style go from main dish with sides of vegetables, etc., to cheese platter to fresh fruit. So I'm always eating seasonal fruits and vegetables and cheeses. Maybe lunch is my American time-out?
  13. This thread is making me so nostalgic. Munchos were one of my favorite childhood snacks - and already, I will dare to add, something of an unpredictable rarity. Funyuns were a great, late discovery. Onions were considered exotic in my family (which reminds me of the time as a college student home for a break I wanted to cook for my family and asked my father to pick up an onion at the grocery store; he came back with a head of garlic! But that's another story.) But my most favorite, and often hard to find (especially the little tiny packages, otherwise, like Fat Guy, I would just eat the whole big bag) were Dipsy Doodles. Corn chip heaven! (I loathe the oversalty, gross Frito.) Alas, none of that 'round these parts...
  14. I'm not one of those people who eats a certain meal on a certain day of the week, or even someone who always orders the same thing in a given restaurant, but I have one weird quirk and was wondering if I'm alone in this. For dinner, I eat a varied range of dishes, and often not the same dish over a two or three week span. But for lunch... I go in long-lasting phases where I eat exactly the same thing every single day. Right now, it's a smoked salmon sandwich, followed by an apple, followed by a cup of tiramisu. I've been eating this lunch, I'd say, for almost six months, with only a few diversions (going out for noodles or being invited to someone's house for the weekend...). Am I compulsive? Am I depriving myself of a wealth of lunchtime experiences? Or are my lox sandwiches just too good to give up? (Though I should remember that there was my two fried eggs followed by pecan nuts, a while back; or the tuna salad surrounded by diced tomatoes followed by an orange tart...) I wonder when I'll switch, and what's coming next.
  15. It's funny where our priorities and memories go! You fellows wouldn't forget a restaurant you enjoyed, or a good butcher or your favorite brand of pasta, but wine... Is it because you have confidence in falling upon something good in any case?
  16. Huet, Foreau, Chidaine... The usual suspects. Gasp-worthy pricing, IMO...
  17. I think the prices on Loire whites, especially Sancerre and the more longstandingly costly Pouilly-Fumé, but also the more notorious producers of Vouvray, are all rising considerably. It's a shame. Paul Prieur, an excellent Sancerre producer, goes for 15 euros at Lavinia (tho' 12.65 at Augé!); others, such as François or Pascal Cotat, are in the 20 euros and up range. Etc. It's harder and harder to find the small gems. I was in Reuilly last fall, and was shocked that these off-the-radar, and really not outstanding, wines were being sold by the producers at their domains for around 8 euros and up. Ridiculous. But then there's an excellent producer such as Michel Quenioux whose basic Cheverny bottling is priced at 4.60 euros at his domain. Villemade, whose wines I like even more, is also easy on the wallet.
  18. Brilliant answer, Dave! But actually, I think taste and quality vary a lot... I guess I'm also looking for the best QPR, because you can always just throw money at the question and purchase super-high-end things; the craftiness is in finding, well, a find... Grimod, do you have a recipe or some tips for making my own?
  19. Mm! I love white vins de soif. And we have it lucky, because wine is so often so well priced in France. These are wallet- and meal-friendly whites I like to buy: Edelzwicker (Barmès-Buecher, Sylvie Spielmann): delicious, light, green-appley Alsace Quincy (Jacques Rouzé): white flowers and flint and minerals in a lesser-known Loire sauvignon Menetou-Salon (Henry Pellé, Chavet): similar in style to Sancerre, flinty and dry Cheverny (Hervé Villemade, Michel Quenioux): ridiculously inexpensive for some outstanding wines; sauvignon topped w/ chardonnay; chenin blanc for the Chevernys; the exotic romorantin grape for Cour-Cheverny Crémant de Saint-Pourçain: yes! though I hate white Saint-Pourçain (the icky tressallier grape), there is an excellent crémant from M. Pétillat which is dry and sharp. Crémant d'Alsace: an excellent vintage version from Audrey & Christian Binner. 90% riesling! The 1996 was deep gold, good body. hell, why not small producer champagne: a bottle of Pierre Moncuit NV or Pierre Gimonnet for under 15 euros départ cave... And these are some elegant blanc de blancs. Bourgogne blanc: if Leflaive is a little steep (still, only around 20 euros), look for something like the mind-bogglingly tasty C. & Cl. Maréchal 2005 Cuvée Antoine. Montagny: (Cary Potet, Vignerons de Buxy) lesser-known Burg appellation from the Côte Châlonnaise. And then there are also the interesting Gaillacs (esp. Mauzac vert) from Bernard Plageoles... Or Corsican vermentino (but it's not as cheap as it should be... esp. producers like Antoine Aréna, but I just love that grape)...
  20. It's always pommes sarladaises season! As for me, I always cook duck confit in a skillet. Get as much of the fat off of them as you can, put them skin-side down in a skillet on very very low heat, cover. Five minutes later, take off the cover and pour off all the fat, making sure the confits don't fall out into the sink or jar or garbage or wherever you're pouring the fat. Return to stove, low heat, covered. After about 20 or 25 minutes, the skin will be crisp, the rest will be heated through, and you just need a spatula to turn them out right-side up onto dishes. I never put the meat side on the heat; it dries it out.
  21. Another thing I miss from the Berry are the galettes de pommes de terre. (Not to be confused with the pâté de pomme de terre from the Bourbonnais, which is a big round puff pastry with sliced cooked potatoes inside, into which you pour crème fraîche and chives and put the pastry lid back on and reheat in the oven. Mm.) No the Berrichon galette is simply a sheet of puff pastry with a layer of mashed potatoes and then another sheet of puff pastry on top. Bake until puffed and golden and cut into rectangles. Delicious as an apéro served warm. We also used to eat them for breakfast. Another variant was the feuilleté de pomme de terre, which was a rectangle of a puff-pastry like thing with the potato incorporated into the dough. Not bad, too - a delicious version of this can be found at the Pâtisserie George Sand in La Châtre. My favorite of the other resides in Châteaumeillant. I think the galette with purée in the middle should make a comeback as a hip apéro in branché places.
  22. Fascinating, Ptipois. Thanks for taking the time to post that. Ample food for thought about the cultural penchant for bland or mild foods, considered somehow more noble than ones with pungent or pronounced tastes (sole vs. mackerel). In this case, truffles might then, in some sense, sublimate those classy mild foods by adding something more complex but which would be lost in stronger-tasting fare?
  23. I love duck leg confit. I have never made my own, though, and the one time I bought one from my butcher, it wasn't as good as some I've had from high-end commercial canned or jarred types. But it's been a long time since I had a really delicious, well-seasoned, satisfying example of a store-bought, canned or jarred duck leg confit. What is your favorite confit? And how is its pricing? I assume small producer-type products can also be found in certain Paris shops, so do include, if that's the case for your favorite. Thanks!
  24. Thanks for the link, Ptipois, which I will follow. I have quoted this, though, because I think it's the root (or fungus) of the problem - and the reason this thread is now turning in circles. The point has never been defined. What is the "difference" between trumpets and truffles? Of course they are drastically different. A radish is very different from a carrot. But they are two root vegetables, and if I make some remark about their "similarity", it's not because I think radishes taste like carrots, or can be prepared in similar ways or work in the same kinds of dishes. But they have a few points in common. That is all. So when you note that I "do not grasp the difference between trumpets and truffles" - I have to ask: what difference? What aspect of them? I have cooked with truffles. I have made poularde demi-deuil at my friend's house in Villers-sur-Mer. I have made omelets with truffles and gratins of potatoes. But of course I look forward to learning more about them and their uses and if ever I'm lucky enough to have a fresh one again, I'll keep on exploring.
  25. Not sure about the complete disparity between truffles and trompettes! And more information is always less insulting than less (if there is even a question of being insulting; hopefully I have enough sense not to take culinary questions of knowledge or ignorance as a personal attack; hopefully you are not looking to personally shame anyone). This thread has made me reflect on the use of trompettes de la mort, in any case. You are right that my sauce was basic: shallot, white wine, thyme and laurel, finished with cream. And it sucked. Maybe it was the chicken itself.
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