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Everything posted by nliedel

  1. I call it a bell-ini too, after I've had two. If I have three, it's a bull-ini.
  2. I dig my futzy booze, but not in a cooking competition. Just put the plate down, step back, and everything will be okay.
  3. nliedel

    Dinner! 2008

    I'm wiped out and thinking about how I made the Meyer Lemon and Basil Sorbet. The food was good, and I have photos, but a friend of mine is coming today to visit and I'm running here. Meyer Lemon and Basil Sorbet. I am bad about never following a recipe, ever. I read how it's done and then I play. Which is why things sometimes are a mess. I think I can recreate the sorbet though. I made a simple syrup with a cup of sugar and a cup of water. Actually, I skimped a little on the sugar, which may have been a mistake. While it was coming to a boil, I dropped a crown of basil in it. I zested two of the Meyer lemons and squeezed the juice of four Meyer Lemons (they were on the small side). I turned it down as soon as it came to a boil, added a bare pinch of salt (Kosher) and stirred it carefully. I pulled the basil and tossed it. You could really smell the basil and Meyer Lemon mix, with the basil under the Meyer Lemon. I tasted it and the Meyer Lemon hit the tongue first, with the basil sort of behind it, but very noticeable. I cooled it an ran it in my ice cream maker till it was creamy. Sorbet seems to freeze hard as a rock for me. I stuck it in the fridge forty minutes before serving and it was scoopable. Sorry I don't have a better recipe. I'm kind of known for this.
  4. Stopped by there, (Ann Arbor) yesterday. I picked up the chocolate croissants, Tarte d'Alsace, my yummy tamales (chili and cheese) and a couple other things. Not a ton of stuff, oh and flowers. Cheap and gorgeous. We are eating the chocolate croissants right now and my husband loves them. Cripsy layers with a chunck of warm chocolate in the middle. Nicely done. I am pleasently surprised.
  5. I read the blogs and someone, Ted Allen, I think, mentioned that they try to get there past histories out, but if a problem is ongoing, under seasoning, for example, they can't ignore it. That made sense and seemed the most fair to me. He had some interesting thoughts on dish salvation for this episode. Love that guy.
  6. nliedel

    Dinner! 2008

    We're celebrating our wedding anniversary and this year I wanted to cook. I spent a week agonizing over the menu. I mean torturing myself. It's fourteen years and I want it to be perfect. I started the sorbets yesterday. My goal is a tasting menu of many courses, with most of them finished before and plated at the last minute. Obviously, the duck has to go down right before we eat it. See duck problems below. I usually foul up at least one thing a meal and this is a lot bigger than normal, so I am making extra. Amuse Bouche: Smoked Salmon on Chinese Spoons with Olive Oil and Rosemary Roasted Lemon Slivers, Capers and Crème Fraiche. Appetizer: Goat Cheese Souffle's with Baby Greens and Heirloom Tomatoes in a Champagne Vinaigrette. Soup: Asparagus Vichyssoise with Toasted Asparagus and Lemon Garnish. Salad: Caramelized Red Pear Napoleon with Brie, Toasted Walnuts (or maybe pecans?), and Watercress with a Balsamic Reduction. Palate Cleanser: Pomegranate-Mango-Ginger Sorbet (ready to freeze). Fish: Scallops in an Ancho Chili Glaze with Mango Chutney. This is from a local restaurant's cookbook. Palate Cleanser: Meyer Lemon and Basil Sorbet (damn this is so good). Entrée: Seared Duck Breast in a Red Wine Reduction with Demi Glace (don't get excited. I bought a premade demi glace), Roasted Wild Mushrooms and Roasted Baby Carrots (real baby carrots with the stems partly on. I would never cook these normally, but they were so cute). Dessert: Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, Amazing chocolate thing I bought premade (sue me), and a Warm Three Berry Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Crème Anglaise. Cheese Plate: Neal's Yard Farmhouse Cheddar (this is freaking GOOD), some kind of blue cheese, a local cows milk cheese that Zingerman's makes. While I was at the creamery, the guy put it in the case from the back. They make it right there and it's so good. Petit Four: (This is in honor of my friend, Esther), See's Candy Chocolate Truffle. I would nap all day Sunday, but my dear friend, Ann is coming up with her family. I'm making a cheesecake tomorrow for them, so it can age. On Sunday I'm roasting a couple chickens with veggies in the pan. I told her I would be slacking, but for some reason she says she's coming up to see me, and not just eat. Although she did say eating was part of it. I am so jazzed to cook this meal. The kids are all going to be gone by noon and Gene is going to shampoo the carpets, so I will really be able to get in the kitchen and cook. I think I have the time line worked out, but who knows. Very little will have to be done at serving time. I can have it all plated and in the kitchen before we eat, except for the duck, which will all be scored and ready, except for the cooking. Now, here is my disclaimer. The first time I made suck, and that is not a typo, I was dating Mark and set my oven on fire. The fire department was called. It was not fun and Mark called it suck from then on. I tried again with my ex. I still ruined it. I've been reading everything on cooking suck for days now. I think I have suck down, but it's still suck, till I manage to make it with any real taste. Fingers crossed and a big thank you to, Ming Tsai on Top Chef for saying, "everyone knows you score the skin." Until recently not Nancy.
  7. Coho, that would explain a lot. I grew up in Michigan on the lake (Michigan) and had a lot of Coho, it's mushy. Diek is right about that. Richard's scales. I'm not sure how he lived through that, except the diners slammed the carpacio. I re-watched it, thank you Gods of the DVR, and Antonia did make it clear she wanted nothing to do with soup, but under seasoned squash soup is worse than under seasoned mushrooms, in my book. If you don't season squash soup along the way, it's not as good as it could be, by a mile. I can say this with authority, cause squash soup is one of the very few things I make that really is pretty darn tasty. Too bad I can't make a killer brownie. Sigh.
  8. Me too. I'm going to watch it again this morning. I really remember her flat out refusing.
  9. Jennifer has got to get a grip on her temper. I understand she wanted Zoi to win, but I thought she was going to birth a brick and hurl it a Padma's head last night. Dale cracks me up. I don't hate him, yet. That turd, Ryan has me frothing at the mouth. He's just a disrespectful dork, although I've not found any reference to him working for Ming. Which surprised me, because I suspect he's gone into a lot of kitchens with that swagger and just pissed off the whole line, most of the waitstaff, (except a random waitron he was attracted to) and all of the bra folk with his, "I'm perfect and above this food you cook here," attitude. I've dated too many men like him to not see the pattern now. Wish I'd seen it twenty years ago. Dear and wonderful Richard. My favorite since, Sam... how could you do this to me? How could you break my heart like that? Mushy, scaly salmon? and you DEFENDED IT? Oh my. I feel so let down. Sort of like the time my mom made me eat a sandwich, then told me it was tongue. Which I like now, but I was five then. The duck. How do you cook and not know to score the skin of your duck? It's in my, How to Prep Food, book that I keep in my kitchen. Once again, I'm a mediocre cooking mom from Michigan. If I know that, any moron who works with proteins should know that. No seasoning. Do they not watch the show before they audition? The winning dish did look very yummy though. Very yummy indeed. Now can I make fun of people I can never cook as well as, by coming up with dishes that better fit the elements they got? Please!
  10. Holding tickets for two hours? What a disaster.
  11. Thats an hour of my life wasted. Sigh.
  12. And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and large chu... ← Rats on toast, I meant to type squab. If we include the orangatans, then we're just back to the Lincoln Park Zoo and it's all into endagered species from there. Save the breakfast cereals! of course, they do make that breakfast cereal with the organatan on the box...I suppose it could be used as some sort of topping, once crushed. I can see it now, the cream casserole quick fire! Using Monty Python as a theme.
  13. I've been searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for a few years now. I watched the Good Eats cookie show maybe fifteen times in the last couple of years. I puled the recipe for the soft chocolate chip cookies and made them. Yes, soft, but they puffed up so much they looked like little balloons and tasted off. I used good ingrediants, but the problem was still between the fridge and the oven, I'm sure, meaning me. I'm still analyzing.
  14. Okay, the mint comment got my brain spinning about Monty Python movies. Life of Brian: Mock ______ Soup Holy Grail: Anything with rabbit, as long as it was spicy. Suab in a coconut foam. I am going to stop now. If I continue... well, it's just going to involve a chocolate-covered exploding albatross and that can't be good.
  15. The beer, in the case of this season, is one of their sponsors. So I'm not surprised they are drinking it.
  16. nliedel

    Dinner! 2008

    I love that chicken. I love retro food. It looks very comforting and warming.
  17. I would consider myself an intermediate cook. I'm very comfortable with some of the things others have mentioned. I'm a home cook, btw. I love the shellfish idea. It intimidates me. Ingredients, certainly. What makes X better than Y? I own quite a few books on that subject, but still struggle with it. Knife skills, absolutely. I have taught myself any knife skills I know and they need work. What about balancing flavors on a plate? I know a well balanced set of flavors when I taste them, but I don't always think out menus with balance in mind. I also want to know more about in season, locally produced food and where to get it. I have a store I shop at that import their strawberries in June. That's prime strawberry season here. What to stock in the intermediate pantry. What flours, etc. My pantry looks very different from my sister's who is a beginner cook and my pantry is nothing compared to what some people here stock. Baking, to me, is a separate art and if you're already doing a selection of baking classes, that's probably covered.
  18. I usually chalk off any dippy things said after a challange as, 1. a bit of sour grapes, 2. relief of stress. Not that sour grapes is okay, but they're human, so I don't really take it too seriously. Although, some of hte best verbal repartee has come after challanges.
  19. nliedel

    Dinner! 2008

    I've been trying to make what I think is a perfect roast chicken. I try to make one a month, so one of these days, it will be good enough. This time I got seriously distracted and lost track of the time. It smelled good, so I stuck a thermometer in the thigh. I must have hit a bone, cause it looked like it was hot enough, but after resting it was obvious it was not done. Back into the oven it went. Twenty minutes later, it was delicious, but I felt like an idiot. I put roast garlic in the cavity, but next time I'll put both roast and raw garlic in for a blend of garlic flavor. I love garlic. I have photos on my blog, but I've yet to figure out how to stick them in my posts here. I'm working on it and will hopefully figure it out today.
  20. I was thinking of making this next weekend. I just changed my mind. Bland is not something that would work this time.
  21. I would, and this is a bad guess, start them in an oven to get the slow roasted flavor in and finish in a saute pan on top of the stove for the reduction. I'd use the same saute pan for both, using the carrot juice to deglaze the pan. I'd also use peanut oil, but I'm not a big fan of corn oil, so ignore me on that one. I agree that the recip was poorly written.
  22. Sometimes the problem is between the knife and the cutting board. I know it is here. I also know that I afford the ingredients I can and work with what I can. I think that a recipe should be able to be replicated by the better than average home cook to be a great recipe. Can it be pro only and be a very good recipe, bordering on great? Absolutely. However, the ability to use good ingredients and make the recipe somehow above the sum of its parts, is what, to me, elevates it to greatness. Does that make sense?
  23. At last, a cooking thread I will be able to really do some serious participation in. I'm sure I can add something at least once a week.
  24. OH MY GOSH! That would have been beautiful in the most sick way possible. My mind is now heading down a devious path involving pot pie and Sweeney Todd. You'd have thunk Spike would have figured this out, but hind sight is twenty twenty.
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