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Everything posted by johnjohn

  1. I spent the past few days in Boston and Neptune was my favorite meal of the trip (including No. 9 Park and East Coast Grill.) We split the crab cakes and a dozen oysters to start - both were excellant. The oysters were so plump and juicy. I found the cocktail sauce had a sweetness that I didn't like, but it didn't matter because I never use it. I had the hot lobster roll - it was good - a little rich, but that was expected and my date had the stripped bass - also good. It has a relaxed vibe about the place and service was great. We had a few too many frozen treats during our stay because of the heat. We ranked Gelateria third behind Christina's in Cambridge and Emack and Bolios. It was good, but Christina's blew us away - the chocolate banana and burnt sugar ice creams were awesome.
  2. How long will duck fat last in the fridge?
  3. What are the prices like?
  4. I made beef shortribs over the weekend. It wasn't a Molly recipe, but it was from one of her books - Best Recipes 2004/2005. It had an Asian flavor to it - braised in soy, sherry, star anise, ginger, scallion, etc... Very easy and Very tasty. My question has to do with the shortribs? Do people eat the elastic looking band that surrounds the rib? I braised them for 4 hours and although the elastic looking band was tender - it wasn't that enjoyable to eat. If I braise it longer will that make a difference? Do most people just cut that part off before the serve it?
  5. What type of duck breast is the best to use for the stove stop method? Moulard, Muscovy, or Pekin? Does it make a difference? I have a digital probe - what temp should I take it out at for a medium rare temp? Thanks.
  6. Molly suggests making a rice pilaf with the leftover braising liquid from the veal and ricotta meatballs. I did, and it was excellant.
  7. I've made two recipes from this book in the past few weeks - The veal and ricotta meatballs and the herb stuffed leg of lamb braised in red wine. The meatballs were good - very flavorful and especially tender. I've seen them on the menus at Hearth and Craftbar in NYC, but could never justify ordering them when so many other things on the menus tempted me - not to mention the price. They were very delicate, and some fell apart during braising, but that just added little nuggets of meat to the sauce. There was alot of liquid leftover after braising - I really had to boil it down for awhile to get it to a sauce consistency. I didn't have as much luck with the lamb. Parts of the lamb was dry - Parts of it was juicy. That just may be the nature of the beast though - I guess I would try it again using a shoulder roast or chops. The sauce was flavorful - it was more of an au jus than a sauce. I guess I prefer a thicker sauce like consistency - i would probably thicken it if I made it again.
  8. johnjohn

    Leg of Lamb

    What is the difference between shank 1/2 and butt 1/2. The price difference is only 20 cents per pound - Shank half being more expensive. Which is better for roasting? Better for braising?
  9. Anybody make the herb stuffed leg of lamb braised in red wine recipe from this book? I am going to make it for the first time this Easter, and am looking for any helpful hints or suggestions to have it turn out really special.
  10. I made the Goan chicken earlier in the week. It was easy to make and tasted good, but wasn't the prettiest looking dish. The sauce was very flavorful, I used half heavy cream and half sour cream to give it a little tang (it only calls for 3 tablespoons). I also strained it, and added freshly chopped mint and cilantro at the end - the herbs in the braising liquid tasted tired and dull. The chicken thighs are browned without the skin - mine stuck to the pan and in loosening them the meat got torn. That may have added to the unpleasant look of the dish. If I was to do it again, I may dredge them in floor or do them in a nonstick pan. I served it with a rice pilaf that had lemon zest, dried cherries, almond slivers, and spinach in it - that seemed to go really well with the chicken and was good for absorbing the tasty sauce.
  11. Does Molly give any hints/tricks to get a somewhat crisp skin when braising chicken? Is it even possible?
  12. I made the Yankee Pot Roast recipe on Saturday to serve on Sunday. It was good, but I liked the Zinfandel Pot Roast from the book better. It called for Hard Cider as the deglazing liquid. Having never cooked with hard cider I was looking forward to seeing what it would bring to the dish flavorwise. Sadly, it didn't bring much - I couldn't really taste it or the sweetness I assumed it would add. The cloves in the recipe were a nice background taste, though.
  13. johnjohn


    Had a really nice meal at Telepan last night. I liked it better than my meal at Hearth last week (and I really like Hearth!) We did the 4 course 55 dollar tasting menu. You have to ask about it - they don't have it printed anywhere on the menu nor does the waiter mention it, which I found odd. It really is a good deal - the protion size is very nice - I was very full when we left. The GF and I shared - the bay scallops and the quail to start. The duck and apple sausage that comes with the quail was very tasty. The scallops were sweet, tender, and flavorful - this dish is almost too rich though - lots of buter and cream. Next course - sweet potato bilini with squash and coddled egg with greens and scrapple - hard to pick a favorite, both were really nice. Thrid course - the lobster braised halibut and the pork cassoulet. The carrots with the halibut were so sweet - might have been the best carrots that I have ever had. The pork was delicious - I liked the beans better than my dining partner did. Dessert was the carmel bricohe profiteroles with rum sauteed apples and the carrot cake sundae with cream cheese ice cream. Both were excellant, but the carrot cake was probably better. The cream cheese ice cream was awesome. A few notes - The front door keep opening throughout the night letting in cold air. They have a curtain to block the gusts of air, but it doesn't really help. It didn't make the room cold, it was just annoying to feel a burst of cold air every 10 minutes. Ask to sit farther back in the first room. The service was pretty poor. We waited 15 or 20 minutes for the amuse. Our first course came 20 seconds after the amuse plates were taken away. Our first course was luke warm (crouton became soggy and the lettuce with the quail was wilting) as if it had been sitting while we finished the amuse. Silverware was also not replaced after each course in a timely fashion - it arrived 10 seconds or so after the runner brought our next course. The runner would be standing in front of our table with our dishes as the waiter scrambled to find silverware for us. not a big deal, but something I notice when I dine out. The quality of the plates and silverware are very nice though. The bread was really good - especially the raisin fennel semolina rolls. But I couldn't understand what the bread guy was saying when he was describing the different breads - english was not his first language. For those that like to see famous people while you dine - two major TV personalities, one minor classical music celebrity, and a very very famous chef were in the house last night. All in all a good meal. The plae was packed, which is good to see. I'll be back in the Spring.
  14. johnjohn


    Would Telepan be a good choioce for a romantic meal? Is it a loud room? Thinking about taking GF Wednesday night.
  15. I also made the Zinfandel Pot Roast over the weekend - it turned out really nice. I usually add more liquid when I braise, but I followed the recipe and was very happy with the sauce after I boiled it down a bit. I also made the glazed carrots and parsnips in the recipe. Nice flavor and the carrots were al dente the way we like them, but maybe I didn't cook the parsnips enough - they were kinda woody or stringy.
  16. johnjohn

    Roasting Turkey

    Does anyone cut a turkey into parts and cook the parts individually? Seems like you could monitor the temps of the white and dark meat seperately and wouldn't have to worry about white and dark being done at the same time or dry meat. I've never done this, but I do it with chicken with great success. I don't care about presentation - I carve the turkey in the kitchen.
  17. There is a seafood pasta dish in this book that I made 3 times in a one month period. I think it is one of the best things I have ever made - very easy and so tasty.
  18. I've come across recipes that call for adding the stock to the roux (after you toss in the vegetables to stop the roux from cooking), as well as, bringing the stock to a boil and adding the roux in small amounts to the stock. Does it make a difference which way you do it? If I was to add the stock to the hot roux should my stock be room temp, warm, or boiling?
  19. johnjohn

    Baked Apples

    I was thinking of baking some apples for dessert this weekend. Any suggestions on what type of apple to use and what to stuff them with. I've come across recipes that use nuts, dried fruits, granola, candy bars, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, apple cider, brandy, etc... Any favorites?
  20. johnjohn


    I also took my girlfriend to Devi last week for her birthday and we both did the tasting menu. We really enjoyed ourslves and thought it was an awesome experience (our first tasting menus). The only down side of the night was the service. The runner would bring the food and just say lamb, chicken, halibut, etc.. and expect us to tell him which of us got which. That was kind of annoying - I kinda felt like I was at a TGI Friday's. Plus there was no further explanation of what we were eating. After the second or third time this happened I explained to our waiter that we are both new to Indian food and would appreciate an explanation of what was on our plates. He was very helpful, but each time a course came out - I had to get his attention again to come to our table. Not a big deal, but it sticks in my mind. We loved loved loved the food. The only two dishes that didn't wow me were the Halibut and the fish and chips. The size of both of these were much smaller than the other courses (maybe 2 bites)and just didn't seem like anything special. But everything else was very tasty.
  21. The Fifth Season in Greenport is nice. Small place that uses local products and features Long Island wines and beers. It is run by a husband and wife team - chef cooked in Manhattan for 10 years before opening this place. I've always had good experiences there.
  22. Any suggestions on what to do with leftover takeout roast duck? I do soup, sandwiches and fried rice. But would love some more suggestions.
  23. If you don't mind me asking - how much did this cost?
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