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    Rockland, ME
  1. zeph74

    Tapioca Maltodextrin

    I'm looking at picking up some Malto to play with. Everywhere I read, its specifically named "Tapioca Maltodextrin". I've seen plain Maltodextrin in some health food shops, and HERE. Whats the difference? Do I need to get only the Tapioca type or is the generic kind ok? Thanks
  2. Just came back from a course @ CIA Greystone on Sous Vide. Was a great course and learned a lot. Looking at some low cost alternatives to equipment. The PolySci Immersion Circulator is pretty much the industry standard, a no brainer. A Minipack or other tabletop chamber vacuum sealer is $$. I'm looking at various FoodSaver models, since are $150-300 and could be replaceable if broken. Anyone using these, and if so which model do you use/prefer? Bags - I found some bags over at BCU, which average out to about $0.07 a bag. Just wondering if these bags would be seal-able by the foodsaver? Or should I just go with the Foodsaver bags, which are more money? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  3. Hi. There's another great post HERE with some similar info. If you have a nice afternoon with good weather, I'd recommend heading to Auberge du Soleil. Sit outside on the balcony, its on a hill overlooking the valley. I only had an appetizer (tasty manila clams) and drinks, although I heard the rest of the food is very good there. Have a nice trip!
  4. Thanks Carolyn. Coming from Maine, but I've lived, worked and extensively traveled around the US and Europe. I'm a huge fan of offal and charcuterie/salumi/etc, and I'm curious to see what Chef Cosentino is doing at Incanto. I know there there are many great places in the area, and I hope to hit up some of those that you listed. Thanks!
  5. Heading to CA in a couple weeks. Incanto will be my first meal in California, heading straight there from the airport. Was hoping the Iron Chef offal menu was still available, but its not. Still looking forward to it regardless. I'd love to see A16 as well, but time is a factor. There are so many good places, its hard to choose where to go over 5 days.
  6. zeph74

    Napa Dining

    Thanks! I forgot about Auberge du Soleil. I had the best manila clams there, plus amazing view and great drinks. Not sure how I forgot, its a great place. Tra Vigne. I stopped in there on my first night in St. Helena. I got there about 8:30PM. I was met by a very attractive hostess, who informed me that they stopped serving food at 9PM, and I was welcome to sit at the bar if I liked. I ordered a beer at the bar and asked to see a menu. While I was waiting for my beer and browsing the menu, I noticed a group of 40-something "locals" came in and sat at the other end of the bar. Well dressed, and obviously knew the bartender. After I decided on a couple appetizers, I closed my menu and waited for a bit while enjoying the beautiful decor and atmosphere. I tried to get the attention of the barkeep a few times, but he was engrossed in conversation with his friends. By the time the barkeep came back over to me, it was about 8:50. I proceeded to place my order for food, and was promptly told that the kitchen was closed for the evening. I finished my drink, paid, tipped, and left. The hostess was the only one who wished me a nice evening on my way out. Granted, all places have their "nights", but this wasn't a great welcome to the area on my first night. However I give every place three strikes, and have heard very good things. Since Tra Vigne is close to where I will be staying, I will visit again on my next trip.
  7. Thanks to the folks at Maine Food & Lifestyle for pointing out the Top 10 Food Trends for 2009 at Epicurious.com. I've been meaning to visit for some time now, but decided this was the week to experience what is going on in Portland. I have reservations at Five Fifty-Five Wednesday evening. Also planning on stopping by Duck Fat, Fore Street, Hugo's, and Evangilene. Not sure how much food I can fit into two days, but I'll do my best. Add lots of shopping and exploration, and it should amount up to a good time. Aside from the food, I especially need some new threads for my trip to Napa & San Francisco in February!
  8. zeph74

    Napa Dining

    I was in Napa back in March 08, and am heading back the first week of Feb 09. In March, I ate at: Terra - fantastic meal Martini House - highly recommended Ad Hoc - Good but not memorable Bistro Jeanty - Overall the best meal but extremely heavy, I was hurting the next day Bouchon - Good drinks & Oysters, nice atmosphere. Didn't have any entrees. Redd - A fellow chef and I walked in and the bar was full, but a couple was leaving a table by the bar. We sat down when they left, I got up to order some drinks at the bar. Apparently the hostess came over and asked my friend and I to leave, saying we "poached" a table. We thought she was kidding, but she definitely was not. No skin off my back, we left and had a great meal at Bistro Jeanty. I have a few extra days lined up after classes @ CIA. I'm planning on hitting: Incanto waiting list @ French Laundry Ubuntu The rest is up in the air. Any suggestions? Oh one more question...nobody has mentioned The Restaurant @ Meadowood here. They have some fresh Michelin stars, so it must be pretty good.
  9. I wish I remembered to take pictures of my xmas roast. Well I did remember, but that was after 24 family members had at it. Note that the remnants are mostly the ends, which are always a bit more done that the middle (which was medium rare).
  10. Here's a pic of the Glestain Santoku I settled on. Been using it everyday for about a month now. Its a great knife.
  11. I'm all for taking shortcuts when cooking, but Sandra Lee uses too much processed food. Canned soups, cake mixes, etc etc. Semi-crapola.
  12. Michael Ruhlman moderated a conference near me a few months ago. I got to meet him and he signed my copy of Charcuterie. Seemed like a very nice guy. Since I got the book I've tried a number of things from it. At work, we smoke our own salmon, other fish and various vegetables. Adding a few other things to the repertoire is great. So far, big hits have been: Duck Confit with star anise & ginger - I modified this a bit, removing and adding a few things. Really delicious. Duck Prosciutto - So easy and very delicious. I didn't change a thing, just salt and white pepper. Tasso Ham - I didn't have any pink salt, and couldn't find any in my area. I used kosher salt, and smoked the meat on high (250-275 F) for about 2 hours, then moved into a normal oven at 275 F for about 2 more hours until I hit the 150-155 F internal range. I added a bit more seasoning, and replaced the marjoram with a some herbs de provence. Result is pretty damn good. Next time I will do it with pink salt, however I need to order it online. Pork Rillettes - I've done this a number of times before with different recipes, and this by far was the easiest. I added a bit more spices than the recipe said. Various terrines - Was a bit concerned about the suggestion to wrap the terrine in plastic wrap before baking. I know that the wrap shrinks when heated, therefore would probably compress the terrine while cooking. Still seems a little wierd to me though. Overall a great book. I'm going to browse through this entire thread now.
  13. I concur with the Victorinox. It was rated the #1 Chef's knife by Cook's Illustrated a few years ago. I bought one for a "xmas auction" random gift, and its pretty nice. Well balanced, and it has a fibrox handle, which would probably hold up if it accidentally got thrown into the dishwasher (something a single male would probably do at least once). Save the money you'd spend on a more expensive knife and get a Victorinox paring knife to match it, I just got two for other gifts for $4.99 each at Amazon.
  14. Ended up ordering a Glestain 817TK. I was leaning towards the Togiharu, but thought the Glestain would hold up better to everyday use, plus it was cheaper than the Misono (my other main choice). I'll post about the knife after I get it and use it a bit. Thanks for the replies!
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