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johnjohn

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Everything posted by johnjohn

  1. I haven't been to Lombardi's in a while, but it was my first taste of the famous New York pizza places and I loved it. But after Grimaldi's and DiFara's, my opinion of Lombardi's has sunk dramatically. But it deserves another visit -- I hope I can make it. I should of said - best of the places I've been to in NY - I still haven't made it to DiFara's... someday... johnjohn
  2. johnjohn

    Parsnips

    Do you always have to cut the core out of Parsnips? I just finished making a short rib stew and plan on tossing roasted pearl onions, mushrooms, and parsnips in at the last minute. They were on the smallish size - so I didn't cut the core out of them. But now I am having second thoughts. I've only cooked them before by running through a food mill and adding to mashed potatoes. So.. my question is when should one cut the core out of a parsnip. thanks johnjohn
  3. Great Blog. What brand of Vodka is your favorite for making Gimlets. johnjohn
  4. Can Gumbo be frozen? johnjohn
  5. johnjohn

    Hearth

    I had a really nice dinner while sitting at the counter in the kitchen at Hearth last night. Service was awesome. I was a solo diner which always makes me feel weird, but the staff made me feel very comfortable. Marco seems like a great guy. He answered all of my questions about the products or how things were prepared. It was also pretty cool to watch the guys work at their stations in the kitchen. Started with the Red Snapper Crudo - A great way to open the meal. It was bathed in a spicy, but fruity olive oil with fried rosemary leaves and a dusting of sea salt. I liked how the frying of the rosemary tamed it's flavor - I usually find it to be too strong an herb. The sea salt added a nice crunch to the dish. Next, was a plate of the Gnocchi with a sauce of butter, parm, and S&P. Awesome. The second best version I've ever had (first being Giorgio's Gorgonzola covered ones on the UES) - Very light and fluffy. I did think they were salty, but in a good way. I only bring this up, because the person next to me also ordered them and commented on the saltiness. Braised Lamb Shoulder and ribs with Escarole and Barlotti Beans was my main course with a side of polenta. Really soft and flavorful meat with perfectly cooked beans (not mushy - with a little bite) my only comment (and not a necessarily a negative) was that the shoulder and rib had the same mouth feel - I guess I would of preferred a piece of the loin or something more fibouris to chew on. This was the first time I ever tried soft polenta - it was good, but I don't think I'm a fan of the texture - nice flavor though. My dessert was the Goat Milk Panna Cotta with Huckleberry Compote. I am a huge fan of panna cotta and order it when ever it's on the menu (which seems to be at every restaurant). The panna cotta was soft and creamy with a nice tang. I have never had huckleberries before - I don't know - they really didn't seem to do anything for me. Two small cookies followed with a solid cup of coffee. Wines were paired with each course - I know nothing about wine, but I really liked the ones they picked. johnjohn
  6. I can't make this meeting. Sorry. But I will be having a burger Friday night - I am going to RARE with some friends. I'll report back. johnjohn
  7. Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s. It only shows up on the menu once or twice a year - that could be why it’s a favorite of mine. ahh… the wait is killing me. johnjohn
  8. johnjohn

    Roasting a Chicken

    If you remove the wishbone before you roast the bird - it makes cutting the whole breast off in one piece much easier and you don't lose any meat. Just cut a slit on each side of the wishbone, run your fingers up and down it to loosen the meat around it and yank it out. johnjohn
  9. When I showed some people the evaluation form - the response was - wow you guys really take this seriously. It might be interesting to talk about that and the different categories on the sheet. Everyone had a comment about the ruler drawn on the side of the evaluation form - they thought it was awesome. johnjohn
  10. I went to Chickalicious yesterday after burger club - below is my report. I arrived just before 4pm - the tables were filled, and 7 people were sitting at the counter. Don sat me at the bar and asked me if I had ever been there before - I said no, but had read alot about it on egullet. He seemed pleased and said a number of egullet members have visited them in the past few months. He handed me a menu and pointed out some new offerings, and made the point of saying that the Fromage Blanc was the signature dessert. So... I ordered that with the suggested wine (I think it was Jurancon Uroulat 2001 - copied off the website), and an additional course (extra $7) of Chocolate Pudding with a Banana Salad Napoleon and Mint Froth. Chicka greeted me and presented me with my Amuse. It was a cranberry soup with vanilla sorbet. What I liked about this dessert (and the other items that I tasted) was the balance. Many times with cranberries - it is either to tart or too sweet - this was perfect, and the cool vanilla sorbet played off it nicely. My wine and Formage Blanc Island Cheesecake arrived next. It was slightly larger than a golf ball and nestled in a bowl of crushed ice and topped with cream. At first glance and looking at some of the other customers plates - I thought maybe I ordered wrong. After the first bite - I decided I had ordered correctly. It was smooth, creamy, and had a slight tang. I know nothing about wine, but liked the combination - it was sweet and cut through the richness very nicely. The Chocolate pudding was my second dessert choice, and also my favorite. The pudding was thick, dense and rich with chocolate flavor. The banana salad that accompanied it comprised of diced banana mixed with orange juice, simple syrup, and walnut oil that was sandwiched between thin chocolate wafers. The foam was cream that was heated and infused with mint tea than frothed with a small mixer - it had a very strong mint flavor, but in a good way. The Petit Fours were a Coconut Marshmallow, a Chocolate Chip Cookie, and a Shortbread topped with some type cream and a pistachio. The marshmallow was my favorite, and I don't particularly like coconut. The chocolate chip cookie was a disappointment - after eating it I said to myself - well that was a waste. A couple of notes. First - It was very hot - almost to the point of being really uncomfortable at the counter. I'm not sure if this was because it was unusually warm outside in NYC yesterday or if it was because Donna was doing alot of production work and was constantly opening the oven doors/using the burners to prep for the night. Secondly, I could see how some people would think this is a poor value. The desserts are very small - many would be a petit four at most restaurants. They were all very good, the ingredients were top notch, but none of them wowed me, and after dropping over $30 - I was still hungry. Please don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the experience (something about watching chefs work is so cool), would probably go back (great date place), but I would be selective with my recommendations to friends. johnjohn
  11. I really enjoyed my first burger club experience, and look forward to more in the future. I thought the burger was very good, but the company was even better. thanks johnjohn
  12. Put me down for 1 at Blue Smoke. Looking forward to my first BC meeting... johnjohn
  13. I think I had two winners this year. The mashed potatoes with parsnips that got put through my new ricer and than drenched in cream and butter, as well as, my gravy that I used apple cider to deglaze the roasting pan with both got rave reviews. johnjohn
  14. Quick question regarding the layer of oil that separates from the sauce. Do you skim this off and discard it like you would for a stock - or is it an integral part of the sauce that is stirred back in before it is served. Thanks johnjohn.
  15. At my local Thai restaurant the menu lists 5 or 6 different curries that it offers and a choice of chicken, beef, or shrimp with the corresponding price for the different protein. My question is - does each curry have an individual protein that it is traditionally paired with? Or better yet, could you list what protein you think goes best with which type of curry. Great class. Thanks johnjohn
  16. Thanks to everyone involved in organizing the Potluck. I had a great time, and really enjoyed putting faces with names. Fink - I was at a pig roast the week before (two 155lbs) and yours blew them away - it was awesome. johnjohn
  17. I was really in the mood to stuff myself on ribs and cornbread last Saturday. I went to Daisy May's BBQ at 1pm, and they weren't open yet. I was pissed - I had passed up a lunch invitation, and drove out of my way to try this place. All was not lost - I did manage to put down three hot dogs at Papaya King instead. I'd call before you go - to check the hours of operation. johnjohn
  18. johnjohn

    Breadcrumbs

    If a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, which should you use - fresh or dry. I came across this twice in the past few weeks - once with meatballs and the other with crabcakes. Is there some rule that I don't know about? Thanks in advance johnjohn
  19. I'm in for 1 person. I will be driving from Long Island, and have room for 3 or 4 egulleters in my car. Stopping in Manahattan and picking up people is not a big deal - Let me know if anyone needs a ride. I've been told I make pretty good brownies. If we don't have too many desserts - I would like to bring them. johnjohn
  20. I had a really nice meal here last night. There were 8 of us - most were new to Thai food - so the menu choices weren't too adventurous. We asked the waiter to suggest apps and entrees that would be a good for people new to Thai and that we could share. There was a ton of food, and I was well on my way to being drunk so I can't give many details. A few dishes did stand out. My favorite was the penang lamb curry - very flavorful with a nice amount of heat. The lamb was in thin shards of meat - I would of preferred thick chunks, but I still enjoyed it. The seared steak salad. It comes with mint, bell peppers, chili sauce, lime, and fish sauce in lettuce leaves. Very tasty - lots of things happening in your mouth at the same time. Pad Thai - I have actually stopped ordering this - too many bad versions floating around. But I really liked it last night. Not the usual sloppy sticky sweet mass of noodles that you usually get. Hot and sour chicken soup with coconut milk - A really nice rendition. Someone mentioned last night that in Thailand they use forks – not chopsticks. That restaurants put chopsticks out for Americans, because they expect to see them in that part of the World. Is this true? johnjohn
  21. Sounds like a great evening. I am really interested in the pasta dish - I make a bruschetta with tomato, mint and red onion that is always a big hit at BBQs. If you don't mind, could you give a few more details about the pasta dish. Did you use fresh tomatoes - Was it a smooth tomato sauce or chunks of tomato? How was the eggplant prepared? Did you cut the fish in cubes or flake it once cooked. Thanks johnjohn
  22. Having dinner next week with friends I haven't seen in awhile. I suggested Thai food, and someone picked Ponsgri Thai Restaurant (Bayard and Baxter). This place doesn't ring a bell with me - anybody been? johnjohn
  23. johnjohn

    Rao's

    Never made it to the restaurant. But I've cooked a number of recipes from the cookbook - they have all turned out really nice. When I visit my mother she requests a really simple sausage in red sauce over pappardelle dish that I got from The RAO's cookbook. johnjohn
  24. johnjohn

    Butter Poaching

    About how much butter would you use for 1 lobster tail? Thanks johnjohn
  25. I don't think Drakes is available nationwide. I never heard of them until I moved to NYC. Are they an East Coast thing? johnjohn
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