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Ron Johnson

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Everything posted by Ron Johnson

  1. Ron Johnson

    Mussels!

    I am going to make mussels tonight for an app. I am looking for some different flavors. I was thinking maybe ginger, jalapeno, lemongrass, garlic. Does anyone have some tried and true mussel recipes that they really like?
  2. Ron Johnson

    Leg of Lamb

    I got a boneless leg of lamb. (Post Easter the stores are giving these things away). I am going to open it up smear it with a marinade/rub paste and cook it on the grill. Question: How long per pound and at what temp?
  3. Ron Johnson

    South Beach Suggestions

    Some friends are headed to South Beach next month to escape the onset of winter. They have asked me, as their gourmand pal, to find some great places to eat while down there. So my question is: what are the best dining spots in South Beach. I am looking for the killer mom & pop hole in the wall dives with great local food to the fanciest four stars. They will want to eat at both. Any recommendations are appreciated. cheers
  4. Ron Johnson

    Hanger Steak

    Whats the deal with this? Is it called hangar steak because: a)Is it a cut of meat? b) is it a manner of aging? Or c) is it the way its cooked? d) something else entirely I LOVE this steak and order it every place that has it, but I have never seen it at the butcher or supermarket.
  5. Ron Johnson

    Molyvos

    I have not been to this particular greek restaurant, but I am somewhat surprised by the review by Mr. Asimov. In the body of the review he has numerous criticisms, but gives it a score of 2 stars. Given what was said I was expecting no stars or one at the most. Does this surprise anyone else in light of the critical comments he made? Has anyone dined at Molyvos?
  6. Ron Johnson

    Food Network Chefs

    I know that this topic was tangentially addressed in the Bourdain lovefest featuring Chef Anthony and Mr. Mamdujar. However, I thought it was topic worthy of its own thread. My Ũ.2 on the various personalities is as follows: Sara Moulton: PROS: Nice lady, decent chef. CONS: call-in shows make me wince. Are we Americans really that stupid. Also it bothers me how she is always making the guest chefs rush through their preparation. Mario Batali: PROS: Seems like a heck of a nice guy. Definitely genuine passion for his cuisine. Probably among the most talented of the chefs on the newtwork. One of my personal favorites CONS: My god the man mangles the english language. His efforts to use the most poly-syllabic and verbose terminology to describe an item often leave him severely tongue-tied and gasping for air. Rooney, the idiot sidekick on his travel show, must be killed. Bobby Flay: PROS: He came to my state (Kentucky) and he said nice things about it. CON: He acts like a jerk. The only thing left for him to do to Jackie Malouf is smack her on camera. Even the format of his show is exclusionary, sexist, and self-serving. Oh yeah, and he uses a gas grill. So much for him being a real man. I wish Jack McDavid had kicked his ass on their last show. Emeril Lagasse: PROS: Nice guy. Creating more interest in food and cooking. CONS: Makes tons of mistakes on his show. Dangerous source of misinformation to new cooks. Acts like a clown. I keep expecting him to pull up to the set jammed into a tiny car with "Doc Gibbs" and Cliff, all wearing red noses and humongous shoes. Gordon Elliot: PROS: None CONS: Him. Shoot on sight. Ming Tsai: PROS: Got the fusion thing down. Seems nice. CONS: Tends to be cheesy. Alton Brown: PROS: Best cooking show on TV. Extremely informative sessions with just enough classroom shtick to keep it from being a lecture. I wish Emeril would watch some of these episodes. CONS: He lets the Rooney guy on his show. Wayne Harley Brachman: PROS: Makes good desserts. CONS: Acts like a creepy serial killer. And whats up with that voice? Padma Lakshmi PROS: She is even hotter than her food. CONS: Not a chef. Continues to do her show clothed. Keith Famie: PROS: He didn't like that woman on "Survivor" either. CONS: After her the person I hated next was him. Anthony Bourdain: PROS: A guy from the trenches makes good. CONS: Does he have to pay Hunter S. Thompson royalties for stealing his identity? Martha Stewart: PROS: K-mart filed chapter 13. CONS: This is too easy. Thats all I can think of now.
  7. Ron Johnson

    Junk Food Is Satan's tool to make us fat

    Fat Guy: Most of your last response is sarcastic. I thought you were interested in a real discussion on this issue.
  8. Ron Johnson

    Junk Food Is Satan's tool to make us fat

    I, personally, would not take one of these lawsuits. I do believe that the fast food industry manufactures a product that, when used as intended, causes harm. However, in Kentucky we have comparative fault, and because it is foreseeable to the consumer that the product will cause said harm (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc) the consumer would bear a large portion, if not all, of the fault. The only way I would consider taking one of these cases, is if I could prove that a fast food corporation was advertizing its food as healthy and lowfat (think Subway) but actually knew that its products were laden with fat and calories and were likely to cause consumers to be at risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Then, because it would not be foreseeable to the consumer to cause said harm, the consumer would most likely not be apoortioned a large percentage, if any, of the fault. As it stands, no one thinks a Big Mac and fries is healthy and certainly would most likely not be successful in a lawsuit alleging that they harmed their health by eating them. I suspect that most other plaintiff's lawyers are thinking along the same lines as I am, and that is why these lawsuits are NOT being filed. What bothers me is that, even though they have yet to materialize as any actual "frivolous litigation", they already have everyone jumping on the anti-plaintiff lawyer/personal responsibility bandwagon. Its not surprising to me that it is the champions of tort reform that are making sure that this story stays in the news cycle. People keep hearing about and actually believe such lawsuits are being filed in every courthouse in the country. Wag the dog.
  9. Ron Johnson

    Junk Food Is Satan's tool to make us fat

    What frivolous litigation? How many of these lawsuits have been filed? Has even a single one of them resulted in a jury verdict? And in response to what message is being sent, Kraft Foods announced that it is going to make changes in order to address the issue. Click
  10. Ron Johnson

    All About Hooters

    A gentleman here is opening a restaurant of the same ilk to compete with Hooters. Not being short on creativity he has decided to call it Juggs. I kid you not.
  11. Ron Johnson

    Good Cheap Eats in New Orleans!

    Frankie and Johnny's on Arabella street. Jacques-Imos on Oak Street Johnny's Po-Boys in the Quarter Popeye's (its a fast food chain, but all the locals go there for chicken and red beans and rice)
  12. Ron Johnson

    Cobblers

    Cobbler has come to mean any sweetened fruit dessert in which the fruit mixture is poured into a ceramic or pyrex baking vessel and the crust unceremoniously draped over the top versus a pie in which the fruit filling is poured into a crust that has been blind baked in a pan. However, a TRADITIONAL cobbler is, in fact, supposed to be topped with biscuit dough. Pie dough, is for, well, pies.
  13. Ron Johnson

    Wine glasses

    Or, as the Mondavi's prefer to characterize it, not another California fruit bomb.
  14. Ron Johnson

    German rieslings

    I drink a lot of Alsatian Riesling because I know from the label and the producer how sweet or dry of a wine I am buying. I rarely buy German rieslings because making the same determination is so much more difficult. I, for one, enjoy a wine with some sweetness or residual sugar provided that it has the acidity to balance, as is the case with good German rieslings. However, most of my non-wine-geek friends will not touch a wine that is sweet. I know that "trocken" denotes "dry" for German rieslings, and that "halbtrocken" is "off-dry" or literally half-dry. The problem is that I almost never see the term "trocken" on any German rieslings and I only rarely see halbtrocken. Instead I always see kabinett, spatelese, and auslese. While these terms have more to do with level of quality and point of harvest of the grapes and therefore are somewhat of an indication of the sweetness of the wine, I often end up with a wine that is either sweeter or drier than I wanted. I have been told that Kabinetts are often drier than spatlese or auslese, but that has not been my experience. So whats the secret to knowing how dry or sweet of a wine you are buying when purchasing German riesling?
  15. Ron Johnson

    German rieslings

    Umm, that was a joke. I think everyone must have overlooked this part of my original question: "I know that "trocken" denotes "dry" for German rieslings, and that "halbtrocken" is "off-dry" or literally half-dry. The problem is that I almost never see the term "trocken" on any German rieslings and I only rarely see halbtrocken."
  16. Ron Johnson

    German rieslings

    So, trocken means dry?
  17. Ron Johnson

    German rieslings

    Because I drink a lot of it, have been for a long time, follow each vintage closely, talk with distributors, importers and a few of the winemakers about their product each year, and know to expect a very different wine from Zind-Humbrecht than I do from, say, Trimbach. Also Alsatian lables will denote SGN and VT, which are further indication of what you are about to drink. I'd prefer to keep this thread on german rieslings.
  18. Ron Johnson

    Mutant Barbecue

    Memphis pulled pork, at least at the Interstate.
  19. Ron Johnson

    Blue Hill (NYC)

    Actually, its probably better. I do expect a higher mark-up from a restaurant in NYC than I do in my hometown or the "burbs" as you refer to it. Fortunately, I have found just the opposite is true in many of the restaurants in which I have dined in Manhattan, including Gramercy Tavern, Babbo, and Blue Hill. At Atelier, the champagne was very reasonably priced by the glass . . . it was free. My purpose was not to single out Blue Hill, but to find fault with any restaurant that would mark-up wine in this manner.
  20. Ron Johnson

    Two syrah with dinner

    I do not always equate the presence of brett with a defect, especially in the Rhone where a little merde is expected. However, I often find that it is due to other factors than actual Brett. Mourvedre, which of course would not be in the Jamet, often gives a brett-like aroma to wine. I had an Alain Graillot St. Joseph that was fairly funkadelic, to the point where I also assumed some brett had got in. It was not a bad wine, and actually paired well with our food the evening.
  21. Ron Johnson

    Mutant Barbecue

    I also sampled the barbeque spaghetti at the Interstate . . . once. Actually it is a good idea, just poorly executed.
  22. Ron Johnson

    Blue Hill (NYC)

    I have. Its what I used to do for a living. Depending on their pour, there is between 4 to 5 glasses of wine per bottle, so lets say 4.5 in this case. If the wine retails for $12.99, that means Blue Hill probably got it for about 8 or 9 bucks, I will be generous and say $9. At $8.50 per glass they are earning $38.25 per bottle, which represents over a 400% mark up on the price of the wine. I do not, have never, and will never expect a restaurant to charge retail for their wine. I understand the cost of stemware, storage, insurance, licensing, and all the rest, but I cannot approve of this level of mark-up. They are simply taking advantage of the fact that most people will be unfamiliar with this wine and not know its retail price.
  23. Ron Johnson

    Blue Hill (NYC)

    $14 for asparagus is nothing compared to being charged $8.50 for a glass of wine that retails for $12.99 per bottle.
  24. I'd take 5 years in a federal penitentiary over 1 in state lock-up anyday. I regularly visit clients in both. Its not even a close call. This should be an interesting column.
  25. Ron Johnson

    Espresso Machines

    I got a FrancisFrancis X5 at a discount through an Illy promotion. I also had to buy a year's supply of Illy pods. The machine is awesome and works so well. I love it. The surprise for me is the quality of the pods. My espressi made from the pods are as good as any I have had in the US. The crema is picture perfect everytime. FrancisFrancis also has great customer service. When I had a question about the machine, I emailed the company. A very nice person called me at my office ten minutes after I sent the email. She explained everything to me and apologized that it wasn't better covered in the instruction manual.
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