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Carlo A. Balistrieri

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Posts posted by Carlo A. Balistrieri


  1. On a recent visit to North Carolina I had a great cocktail called a "Hot Date." It was made with jujube preserves (Chinese red dates?) and I've been looking for them ever since--and on line--to no avail. Can someone help with a NYC or mail order source?


  2. My newest (not even here yet) is "Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe..." which I bought for ONE recipe: Carmen Quagliata's ricotta gnocchi--one of the most heavenly dishes I've had the pleasure of ingesting. I've tried several recipes since that fateful meal, but failed miserably in recreating the texture and taste of Carmen's version. My fond hope is that the book's recipe is HIS.

    AND just so my restaurant friends don't get their tocques in a twist, I still regularly eat out...I'm not searching out favorite recipes to cut back on my entertainment budget. I'll see Carmen and the gang--and eat his gnocchi--again soon.


  3. I'm trying a small scale shiitake growing experiment and am wondering whether there is an ideal time (size) to harvest the mushrooms. I've harvested one a little earlier than I thought ideal and one after spores were shed--a bit later than I guessed. Both had outstanding flavor, so unless someone has more information for me, I'm concluding that it doesn't make a whole lot of difference (as long as you don't wait TOO long...).


  4. I found Tante Marie outside of eGullet...and that's where she'll go. Looks good to me and the staff person I spoke to was very helpful on the phone. I've signed her up for a "Cooking from the Pantry" class and ordered their cookbook for her as well. I'm really excited about this (wish I was there...they have lots of interesting looking offerings), I hope she will be too...

    Thanks to all.


  5. A friend from other worlds (who is apparently a lurker here...) contributes the following:

    "The easiest way to quickly grow good-size lemon grass is to buy a bunch

    at the grocery store. Place in a glass of water. Those stalks with a

    smidgen of the ?what to call it, not bulbous so not a basal plate but

    you know what I mean - anyhow, those will start to root. Pot up, and

    away be grow. More rapidly in hot weather, of course. Very easy, good

    success rate."

    This is another way to go...but be aware that not all the lemongrass available in the stores has the "bits" at the base that will lead to roots. Take a close look. If the base looks cut through, you're probably out of luck. If it looks fully rounded at the base (see where I'm going?), you've got a chance of getting the bunch to root....


  6. I can help you Kenneth. I've grown lemongrass from seed and purchased plants. It is SLOW from seed. Even the purchased potted plants grew slowly until the heat of the summer--and then went nuts. Since it is not hardy here, they are all grown in pots which have just been moved in for the winter.

    Patience, my friend; patience...


  7. Keep looking Mitch...and when you find one that meets your standards, let me know. No place I've been to has been able to match the cheap, anywhere you go shots that I experienced in Portugal. Why is it so difficult?

    I'm no expert, but I know what I like...and it's pretty easy to i.d. a bad pull.


  8. Ahhh, the poor English...always bashed about because of their food.

    I'm happy to report that, stories to the contrary (and as many of you have already mentioned), good food abounds in England. I was fortunate to be there in May for a wedding at Sir Christopher Wren's House in Windsor. The food throughout the wedding weekend was superb. The good experience wasn't limited to the wedding site. Our meals out were mostly memorable. A lunch of wild boar and apple sausages (pellet aside) with Colcannon mash and thyme gravy was particularly wonderful.

    The pub food was sturdy and generally well above the pasting usually given to the English cuisine.

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