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Everything posted by trillium

  1. Not sure about the connection with balls, but I've eaten fresh anchovies and sardines at clarklewis and fife for sure and maybe Navarre. I don't know if it's still the same pastry chef at Park Kitchen, I heard she went someplace else, but if it is, then it doesn't surprise me that your dessert was stupendous. Her stuff is my favorite too. Last two visits to Voodoo have resulted in stale donuts, but I do have a weakness for the maple bar with bacon and that custard-filled obscenity. regards, trillium
  2. Burgerville soft serve is even better then DQ (but no choco) and I'm a DQ soft serve fan. I think because they use a Sunshine mix (which some gelati places use as their base too). You can keep the wax coating at DQ though! I'm a wuss and mostly get the kid sized cone, which usually keeps it under a buck... regards, trillium
  3. I find the bread to be absolutely horrible at St Honore. I agree the vibe of the place is minty fresh but it's a French bakery! They should have good baguettes. And they don't make their own puff. In my opinion, if you're just judging a place by how the food tastes then you're much better off at Ken's Artisan Bakery or even Baker and Spice. I haven't been to Bluehour or Paley's but I like Wildwood better then Higgins (although I had the definitive steamed clams with herbs and garlic in the bar there a few weeks ago). I love the separate bar at Higgins, especially during Brewer's Fest, when they have Duchess de Bourgogne on tap! I've had good food and really bad food at Park Kitchen. And I would argue it's just as "sceney" as any other place (same for Fenouil). I've been there about 5 times and I feel like I've won the lottery when it's good, but that's about 50%. I found the food at Vindalho ridiculous, but I'm used to eating a lot of home-style South Asian food. If you're into fusiony stuff then you'll like it, along with Pho Van. And if you're into elegant, fancy, less seasoned takes on Korean, there is Bewon. I like Pambiche, and it's a great place for dessert too. For breakfasts, you might check out Genie's for casual but good, and daily cafe on Sunday (their Saturday offerings aren't as tasty). For funkier and plentiful breakfast that hasn't changed since the 50's, check out Fuller's (to tell you the truth, I don't find the food that good, but it's cheap and the partner digs the homemade bread and breakfast counters that haven't changed in 50 years). Desserts at Pix can be fun, especially because you can get a bottle of Chimay along with your Queen of Sheba chocolate cake. For really casual eats that might be too much of a trek for you, the Bahn Mi bakery near SE 67th and Broadway has the best Vietnamese sandwiches in Portland, and Otto's grills up their stellar, all natural casing dogs and other sausages all weekend on the sidewalk outside their shop. regards, trillium
  4. Chai tow kway is what TP described, and super yummy it is. You can get it light and dark, I like light. regards, trillium
  5. Are we talking about ikan belis now? Little dried fishies? We fry them until crunchy like a potato chip. A classic for nasi lemak, but that belongs in the "Other" section I suppose. The funny part is, we don't call those hum yu, that is reserved for the meaty salted fish, and the little guys go by their malay name. The partner refers to baccala as hum yu too, and that always makes me laugh. regards, trillium
  6. I think rose is a good match with berries. I like to muddle some raspberries with rose and lemon juice, add gin, simple syrup, ice, and top with soda or strain and serve up. Or I use a fruit infused vodka in place of the gin (red currants were the latest). regards, trillium
  7. I know these as Half and Halfs or Red and Whites when they are on the rocks with a twist of lemon or orange. I make mine with Noilly dry (I'm a die-hard Noilly dry fan, but don't like their sweet stuff) and either Vya sweet or Antica. I didn't care for the Vya dry at all, but that's because I have a low tolerance for cinnamon, which I taste too much of in Vya dry. It's a nice aperitif during summer, right before a meal. Or a digestif, I suppose, but it needs to still be hot and light outside. regards, trillium
  8. Ok, ok, I'm ashamed that those posts of mine are over two years old and I haven't finished the violet extraction expt. I know right where the bottle is down in the basement and I promise to dilute it, sweeten it, taste it and report back. Erik, dried violets will be pricier then mail order, I'm guessing. You can find dried rose petals for cookery purposes in a well stocked South Asian grocery store. I think I paid around $5 for a huge bag of very fragrent ones. regards, trillium
  9. I find most "cocktails" at most bars to be one-note sweet. A good cocktail should be a nice balance of sweet and sour. I do think people have lost the ability to appreciate sour or bitter and it is thanks to an enormous surge in soda drinking, which is mainly just about sugar. Just look at Coke, a whopping 39 grams of sugar in a can. regards, trillium
  10. I like infusing my gin with cucumber, over night, in the fridge, and then drinking it with tonic water. This works best with very fragrant cucumbers, like the kind you find at farmer's markets. It didn't work so well with grocery store cucs, but works with nearly any kind of gin (tried Gordon's, Sapphire and Tanq). You might try it with watermelon as well, but I'd pick out the seeds first. regards, trillium
  11. If you do decide to make your own salted eggs (and you should, it's easy and they last almost forever in the fridge) put a couple of teaspoons of oolong in the brine. The tea helps the yolks stay firm and oily (or so I've been told). regards, trillium
  12. I'm not sure what market you mean, but if you mean the Portland Farmer's Market, then it will still be on with the parade (I'll admit I've never ever even paid attention to the parade and just try to avoid it's route when it goes on...the whole city doesn't close). I think you'd really enjoy the farmer's market, but if you have a low tolerance for crowds, strollers and dogs, go early. I actually really enjoy the bar at Higgins. It's in a separate room, and there is no smoking. As you know, I do my own charcuterie too, so I'm picky. I like theirs better then Simpatica's. I hate to say this since they have so many fans and are really nice guys, but I haven't been all that impressed with Simpatica's stuff. I only when to the brunch when they did it at Pix, not since their move, so I have pondered trying again. If you make it to the brunch, please report back on how you like it. If you haven't eaten a lot of Korean food, don't let me scare you away from Bewon. I think Nick has misinterpreted what I was trying to communicate, I don't think their food is fusion, but it is dressed up and more refined (ie more subtle seasoning) then what we prefer. We have several Korean friends and colleagues who cook for us (ok, their mums cook for us), and prefer a more home-style approach (more seasonal and greater variety of banchan, more garlic, more chillies, more sesame oil, more salted seafood, etc. etc). But it isn't a bad place. If you find yourself in the far SE (and you probably wont!), do check out Bahn Mi Bakery next to Pacific Supermarket on 62nd (?) and Broadway. The best bahn mi ever, and I've tried all the Seattle favorites. Oh, and if you get a chance, check out a New Seasons market too, just for fun. Kaffir limes aren't in season anymore, but you might find other interesting things, or just be jealous we have such a nice chain here in pdx. Have a great time! regards, trillium
  13. Hi Abra I haven't been to Andina, so I can't comment, but I've been to the rest on your list. Except when I get the pastrami sandwich at the bar I've always been under-wowed at Higgins (ate in the restaurant twice, the bar, which is a separate room, numerous times). I don't think it's a style-mismatch because my tastes tend to run in the simple prep showcasing what is in season direction. The one time I ate at Wildwood, I liked it much better, and think that clarklewis, when Morgan is in the kitchen, does consistently better also. I like Park Kitchen for it's small plates. The bigger stuff doesn't seem as nice. Bewon is dressed up, fancy, Korean. Not mom is cooking Korean. I happen to be a big fan of the mom-style food that I'd eat at places all over Chicago, so Bewon didn't work for me, but many people really like it, and you have to go another city to get the variety of banchan that they serve. A place that has pretty nice street style Thai food is Pok Pok, but only if you ask for it Thai style. Otherwise they're wussing it out for the American palate (and I can't really blame them). They have a smallish menu and only outdoor seating right now. Pix is great fun. I recommend the Queen of Sheba cake paired with the choco habanero ice cream and the darkest Chimay beer. Inspired combo. If you're a chocolate fan, you have to go to Sahagun and I'm not just saying that because I grow some of the herbs for the owner's creations. I bought her chocolate before I was her friend, and now that she has her own little shop, in addition to all of the chocolate candies (my favorites right now are the coco canela and the orange mint truffles) you can get some of the best and most potent hot chocolate ever (and chocolate sodas are on the way). Have a good time. trillium
  14. Sure, I did one in my eG class, and it's in recipe gullet right here. You can click on the links in the recipe to see some step by step photos. regards, trillium
  15. I think there is an explanation in one of Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's books, and I suspect the recipe comes from there as well. Something about sui mai = best/fast seller. regards, trillium
  16. Is that because of the fish/wealth symbolism, a disected fish would mean that abundance would be cut in half? Actually -- I was envisioning the beautiful Squirrel fish (松鼠魚 -song shu yu) on a platter with the head at one end and the perky tail at the other ------ but Squirrel fish really isn't the whole fish at all! If it is the one I am thinking of, then it is boned and the head is usually separated and cooked along side the intact unskinned fillets attched to the tail. That fits into a wok just fine. It is a whole unboned fish that is -- er -- 'fixed' to fit into the frying oil that I was describing. ← Oh, I didn't mean squirrel fish, I meant any fish you eat whole and unboned, like steamed or deep fried. And yes, as far as I can interrogate a reason out of him, it has to do with breaking or cutting off abundance. It would be a lot easier to just whack a fish in half so everything fits! regards, trillium
  17. I wouldn't be allowed to do that! Cutting a whole fish in half is a big no-no at our house, bad luck and all that. Hmmm, if Ah Leung can convince his spouse to eat dark poultry meat, could I convince mine that cutting a whole fish in half to cook is ok? regards, trillium
  18. Hey, I thought you were only allowed to cook with white meat from chickens.... has the ban been rescinded??? Will we see Chinese-style bone-in dishes with dark meat soon? Congrats on the new chopper! regards, trillium
  19. Before big wok and giant burner, we did all our stir-frying indoors. We used an ancient matte finish Le Creuset 12 inch frying pan and our fancy big All-Clad stainless saute pan. We got plenty of wok hei in our greens, it just took a little different technique (fearless preheating on HIGH and smokin' oil). I think you can get that taste with many sorts of pans and I wouldn't think a cast iron wok would be harmful. Some of the wok hei wars seem like testosterone fueled dueling and less about getting dinner on the table, if you know what I mean. We went the outdoor route mainly because we already had the burner for beer making and it's useful to cook outside for ventilation reasons. If you check out the Chinese cooking class I did for eG years ago, you can check out the greens for yourself. regards, trillium
  20. Don't rule out frozen leaves. Most SE Asian grocery stores will have them frozen, and some of the ones from Thailand have more flavor then the ones flown in from Hawaii. regards, trillium
  21. trillium makes a lot of sense to me. I have a 49K BTU Patio Wok set-up (and the wok rests wonderfully in it, I will add), and I cannot imagine turning it all the way up. It is vastly more heat than I ever use save for deep frying or boiling water. As for BTUs, I did a search and found this great post by project, which helped me understand a bit more about the British thermal unit. ← Yeah, that does help if you have the patience to sort through it. The funny thing with these outdoor burners is that the BTU measurement is usually for the INPUT, not the OUTPUT. The output depends on the effeciency of the burners (and how well the fuel/air ratio is adjusted, etc) and is not something that is usually advertised by the makers. regards, trillium
  22. I don't want to get into too much physics, but BTUs are not always the best way of measuring how much heat your burner is going to give off. Besides, what you really want to pay attention to with the turkey fryer type burners is how high they stand (it hurts to bend over and stir-fry after a while) and whether or not there is a regulator as part of the system so you can turn it down. We have a wimpy (hah) Camp Chef burner that has been rated at 70,000 BTU. For stir-frying, we turn it down to the lowest setting and you still have to be quick quick or your stuff burns. The down side to it is that it doesn't really have a way of keeping the wok steady. We saw really cool things stands in Asia that do a much better job. I even tried to figure out a way to buy one and get it home, without much luck. The propane tanks last a long time. We use our burner for cooking and making beer and probably go through 1 and a half tanks/ summer. regards, trillium
  23. Glad I could pass it on, it's a nifty thing I learned about in the good old days of rec.food.cooking. Makes the blender much better suited for small amounts that need to be ground. You shouldn't have much trouble finding the Indian stainless steel ones in the bay area, but for those who can't and feel brave, canning jars match the threads on the Oster blender bases too. regards, trillium
  24. No, the small spice (coffee grinders) wouldn't work. You need a powerful motor and really sharp blender blades. And the blender really does work better then the food processor, but it needs to be a good blender (like an Oster). You can buy 1 and 2 cup glass and stainless containers that screw into the rings that fit onto your blender at Indian/South Asian grocery stores. Or be brave and use a canning jar. It's that or keep pushing stuff down when you're using the big blender jar. It's not the same as pounded, but it's much, much closer then using a food processer. All those mamajis can't be wrong, right? here is a picture of the sort of thing I'm talking about. regards, trillium
  25. Sam's Wines & Spirits in Chicago carries another brand of French made apricot brandy that's pretty good. I'll look at my label when I get home. regards, trillium
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