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Posts posted by AVFOOL

  1. Carl is a very talented Chef. Market is our favorite restaurant and we goes there all the time.

    I have a big family so most of the time there are 8-12 of us going and making reservation at Market is not easy. They do not take reservation for large party (over 8) befroe 8.30pm. So when Banker hill opened, I had high hope that we may be able to make reservation for my family a little easier. I was wrong. They can only take a max of 8 at a time and if there are more than 8 of us, we will have to be seated at two different table with no gaurantee that they are close togather. The first time we went, there are 12 of us so we were seated in two seperate tables very far apart. When we arrived they gave us a table so big that it is easily seat all of us so I request to be seated togather in one table instead of two. However, they are very inflexible and insisted that we be seated separately.

    The restaurant was very noicy with music blasting away and it was very difficult to talk even in a small table for 4.

    The beer selection was great. The wine selection was OK. The food was normal bistro fare nothing to brag about. For me, it was disappointing because of our expectation since Carl was part owner. It is nothing close to what Market's has to offer. We met 4 of our friends while we were there and they were very unhappy with the atmosphere (loud music) and food (fish and chip - breading more than fish) and whisper to us that they will not return. Since it is Carl's place and I consider him a friend we decide to return a week later hoping that they will change the menu like Market where menu is market driven. Unfortunately, nothing changed. so I will not be back either.

  2. I am making reservation for Ames right now for 8/22/09. The food looks wonderful. However, I thought it is a 5 courses tasting menu and you showed a lot more than 5 dishes, what happened?


    I got to about the 2nd course and just started ordering from the menu. I covered off most of it I think.

    You did great. There are 4 of us going so we can for sure try a few of their dishes.

  3. I'm interested to try it myself.  I have an idea for a project I'm developing for the fall where I have to turn out a lot of meats from a poorly-equipped kitchen with a relatively inexperienced "staff" of helpers.

    One of the things I'm trying to figure out is how to do little lamb and little beef "mini burgers" on rounds of toasted brioche.  I've thought of molding and freezing 1.25 diameter by 0.75 tall "pucks" of home ground 80/20 meat ahead of time and bagging these in a single layer.  Then, at service, I could cook them to temperature in a 55C water bath, de-bag and quickly blot dry, then put them on a rack over a sheet pan, paint with the ozmasome/glucose wash, blast with a blowtorch to brown, then quickly get them onto the rounds, drizzle a touch of homemade ketchup, top with a "bread and butter" pickle slice, stick with a toothpick (no top bun) and send out.

    Hopefully the "Maillardizing wash" will help them brown very quickly so the throughput is fast.  Also hopefully, the aesthetics will be good without needing to brown both sides.  If I need to brown both sides to get a good look, I'll consider freezing the mini-burgers and browning one side prior to bagging and cooking so that I still only have to torch one side in between de-bagging and plating.    I have a fair amount of testing to do and mini-burgers to eat!

    Using a blow torch to brown may be very time consuming instead using a very hot large gridle (if it is available) may be a lot faster.

  4. Restaurants in the US are now commonly serving bread with olive oil (as a dipping sauce) on the side.

    I've seen olive oil alone, olive oil with drops of balsamic vinegar, but not much else.

    The dipping sauce dishes I have allow 3 sauces, so I'm thinking of just using three different olive oils with distinct colors and flavours. I don't particularly like the acidity of balsamic vinegar with bread. :hmmm:

    What interesting offerings have you seen served with bread?

    Diced tomato with little salt and pepper, than you can add diced roasted bell pepper, roasted garlic etc to the basic tomato sauce.

  5. Thanks for recommendations egulleters. :)

    This was my dinner at Ame last night. I really enjoyed it especially with the wine pairing. The only two things I didn't finish was the cherry pie (only managed half) and the risotto with the pork chop because it blew.



    Trio of Sashimi. In focus is the red tuna with a zukke sauce. There's also a smoked trout and a kanpachi with uni sauce.


    Corn soup with lobster puppies.


    Broiled black cod with shrimp dumplings.


    Grilled quail with beans and chirizo sausage


    Foie Gras Tortellini with truffle shavings


    Tuna tartare with foie gras shavings


    Scallops, geoduck and prawns in a tomato sauce (almost a cerviche)


    Kurobuta pork chop with mushroom risotto


    Abalone in a spicy mushroom sauce


    Chocolate pudding with some sort of sorbet (which was good)


    Strawberry parfait


    Pistachio ice cream with pistachio cookies and matcha green tea


    Cherry pie with creme fraiche and a malt milkshake.

    At the end of it all, the kitchen gave me two shots (something rank and ginger beer) to help me digest it all.

    I am making reservation for Ames right now for 8/22/09. The food looks wonderful. However, I thought it is a 5 courses tasting menu and you showed a lot more than 5 dishes, what happened?


  6. So there is this little BBQ place near the market that we love to shop at, and we always end up buying at least 1/2 lb of BBQ pork once or twice a month (so cheap, about $4!)

    I have had it on its own with some rice, I have also made BBQ Pork fried rice - I want to do something different with it, but am at a loss for ideas.

    Help, eG!

    You can stir fry it with leafy vegetable or scrambled eggs. You can add it to your vegetable soup. You can even dice it and add it to your favorite pasta.

  7. I had two great meals at Hane last week. Roger is a great sushi chef. His omakase dinner is wonderful. I would recommend it anyone who likes sushi. Omakse dinner is not cheap - range from $70 to $100 depending on what is available. Roger is a protege of Sushi Ota who is part owner of this sushi bar.

  8. Hi, coming out with the family for a long weekend in a few weeks, was looking for some good recommendations.  Coming from NYC, specifically looking for some things we can't get here, really don't care one bit for ambiance or anything like that, staying in La Jolla but perfectly happy to travel great distances for a good meal (we plan on shooting up to Chino farms at least twice during our stay).

    We'd love to find some good fish tacos, mexican, vietnamese (I heard there were some good places?) and anything doing a lot with really local, seasonal stuff.

    Lunch and dinner recs would be very helpful.  Thanks!  Will report back after.

    If you like Chino Produce than you have to go to Market Restaurant on Via Della Valle and Mille Fluer in down town Rancho Santa Fe. You can find both of these restaurants in the web.

  9. At the 1st restaurant I cooked in the chef instructed us to pass a container full of garlic cloves through a meat grinder into a bucket and cover the "crushed" garlic with olive oil.  We cooked with this stuff and the service staff placed little ramekins of it on the tables for the customers to dip their bread in.  Personally, I wasn't down with it, thought it was quite disrespectful to the product to ram it through a meat grinder (I didn't work very long at that restaurant).

    I choose to sous-vide my garlic with olive oil and salt.  The final product is a perfectly infused oil with very sweet garlic.

    SV garlic with olive oil and salt at what temp. and how long?

  10. BTW, I'm trying to think in the Jewish/Chinese vein, since that's what my parents are...

    Diced lox and cream cheese with caper and chive served on top of a deep fried wonton skin cup. Let me know if you need instruction on how to make the wontun cups.

  11. I had not SV lamb shoulder but did a lot of pork shoulder at 82.2 C for 8 hrs. and they are "falling off the bone tender". You can try lamb shoulder at that temp and time to see if it is the result that you are looking for.

  12. I've just completed my first 4 sous vide attempts. I have the polyscience 7306c, ary vp-210 chamber vacuum, and cambro 6" deep plastic tank

    I really like the equipment. They've worked flawlessly and are very simple to use.

    1. Eggs: 63.8C for 1 hour. Whites were way to runny for me. But, they were pretty old eggs (like over a month). Will try some fresh ones.

    2. Fresh lobster tail (well, maybe, just bought the tail at Harris Teeter) at 60C for 30 minutes. Removed the meat from the shell before vacuum packing. I definitely don't like the fact the meat didn't turn white. It didn't matter because it was chopped up to go into some lobster bisque.

    3. Fresh lobster tail at 65C for 30 minutes with a little butter and garlic in the bag. Some of the best lobster I've ever had. I've always had a problem duplicating lobster to get the "perfect juciness vs doneness. Now, I can. I think next time I may hit it with a torch for a few seconds to give it a little crust.

    4. Short ribs at 60C for 33 hours (why 33 hours? Start at 9am, done at 6pm). Removed bone and dusted with simple garlic/salt/pepper rub. Afterwards, made a simple wine/Bone Suckin Sauce reduction with the juices (put in a bowl on the side for dipping). Hit all 4 sides with a torch for 10-20 seconds. This must be what it's all about. Some of the best meat I've ever had.

    Next: pork butt. Plan to rub, smoke for an hour at 180F in my smoker, then vacuum and put into water at 83.3C for 24-33 hours, then hit it with the torch

    I had SV pork butt many times at 82.2 for 8 hrs. I believe if you go much beyond 12 hours, you will lost a lot of the flavor. It is very tender and yet keep its firm texture after 8 hr. After 12 hr. it will be "falling off the bone" soft with juice in bag.

    For 24 hrs at that high a temp., you cook out all flavor into the liquid in bag. If you intends to cook it for 24 to 33 hrs. keep you temp back to 62-65 C.

  13. Since port shoulder need not be rare or med rare to be tender and juicy, that is where the variation in temp to accomplish similar result. I think if you have time 24 hrs at a low temp. is good and if you are concern with time a higher temp will work just as well. I do cut my meat up to about 4mmx4mmx24mm strips and usually put about 3 strips per bag. Reheating at the higher temp also cut the time down.

    It will be nice to get togather and every one cook their own favorite meat, fish or vegetable and have party periodically will be ideal.

  14. Pork shoulder and other pork product seemed to do very well with SV. I always have a pack or two in the freezer for a last minute meal. I SV pork shoulder with a little salt and pepper at 82.2 C for 8 hours. When it is time to serve I just throw it back in the water bath to bring it back to temperature and add a variety of sauce to finish the dish. Sauce i had used includes Chile Verde, Brandy Apple, Coconut green Thai Curry, Lawry Au Jus, Mexican Salsa and Chili Soy Sesame etc.

  15. Anyone have any must eats in the San Diego area?  Cheap, inexpensive whatever! where must I go? It will be in august so patios would be great but not necessary.

    One of the best deals in town right now is The Wine Vault & Bistro . 5-course meal for $30, add $20 for a wine pairing with every course (3 oz pours). Portions are not huge, but they are enough. There is talent in this kitchen and the food is quite good. Service is good and the waitstaff is well trained and knowledgable about the wines being served.

    Sounded wonderful, will try soon.

  16. For what it's worth, I cut the large flat-iron muscle across the grain, and did not worry about the connective tissue that runs down the middle of the steak.  I could have cut that out, but the steaks were already relatively small, and cutting them in half would have made them worse.

    Had I realized that the Jaccard was going to flatten them so much, I would have cut them much thicker -- perhaps 2" or so.  Next time.

    The first attempt at 12 hours was definitely "blah" in both taste and texture.

    Tonight, I served another batch cooked for 24 hours.  These were better, but still not a home run.  They were still a little dry, and any fat on the edges was relatively tough -- almost surprisingly so.  Maybe I need to use the blow torch, rather than the hot skillet to sear the meat.

    Another package is in the rice cooker tonight, still at 131F/55C, in order to try 48 hours -- the way I have done brisket very successfully.  Since the brisket is from a close neighbor of the flat-iron, I hope it will work as well.

    One question that I have concerns the au jus that is poured off of the steak.  It is rather red, presumably indicating some blood.  I've tried adding a little wine, with or without some flour, to make a quick gravy, but the results are an unappetizing gray, and not particularly flavorful.

    Any suggestions from anyone?

    MikeTMD, I will put the Stampfer book on my list, after the Joan Roca book arrives, and after I order the Fat Duck cookbook.  How good is the translation?  Although I can read and perhaps speak German from 50 years ago, I'm certainly not fluent.

    Try filtering your liquid from the bag to get rid of the protein which when heated will turn into scum and it is not very appealing. After filtration, you will have a much better medium to make your au jus or gravy.

    Good luck

  17. In light of recent posts, I'd better write this up just in case tonight's dinner kills me!

    To start with - given the international conspiracy to call all meat parts by different names I have no idea what I cooked and ate tonight in terms familiar to the majority of the forum readers.  Regrettably I took no photographs so the best I can do is try to describe the cut as it was when bought from the butcher:

    I cooked what I may call 'beef short ribs", but given some descriptions I'm not sure we're all talking about the same bit of cow/steer.

    Assuming that the strips of meat were sitting on their rib side they were about 12 inches long, 2 inches wide and a varying amount high (from about 1" to 2.5").  They were cut across the ribs and there was about 7 or 8 bone pieces per chunk of meat.

    (Note deference to US folk who can't yet understand metric measures which we moved to about 40 years ago!)

    Hope that makes some sense - if it does can somebody tell me what that is called in USA terms? (Many of my cookbooks call for things I can't even find definitive descriptions for on the net!)

    I cut each of the pieces into 2 (between the bones) bagged and vacuumed them separately after tossing them around in a bowl with EVOO, sea salt (maybe the same as Kosher salt - but here in Australia we have very few Rabbis to prove it!) and black pepper.

    Next was to put them into the Tiger/SVM contraption at 56C and leave them there for 48 hours.

    I have cooked this cut of meat before and the only way to make it good (despite it's good flavour) is to braise it with lots of other ingredients for several hours.

    Having no idea what to do with potentially tender rib meat I decided to do nothing complex so that I could taste the outcome of the first experiment.

    I baked some potatoes, onions and pumpkin in large chunks for about 1 hour at 180C (350F).

    When the vegetables were nearly done - I removed the ribs from the bath and seared them with a blow torch.

    I then added them to the roasting pan and turned on the fan-force and roasted them with the vegetables for about 5 minutes.

    Net result - amazing!

    The flavour was similar to the complex taste you only normally get from a tough cut of meat, but the texture was about as good as a rib-eye or fillet steak!

    SWMBO was impressed!  (For those who've never seen "Rumpole of the Bailey", SWMBO means: "She Who Must Be Obeyed").

    BTW - SWMBO takes some impressing - I already have an order to do this again - even though I've not begun to attempt any elaborate recipes based on the technique.

    Now I'm after hints as to how to "dress-up" such a dish....



    If you like asian flavor, I suggest adding a slice of ginger and a little diced green onion plus a tablespoonful of Hoisin sauce (available in asian market and readily availbale in US super market). After SV, remove liquid from your bag and filter with paper towel or coffee filter to get rib of the protein so if you want to reduce the sauce you can without the scum. You can also thicken the sauce with a litter butter and flour. I think you will impress your SWMBO.

  18. Maybe British pub food would be appropriate for Peter Grimes?  Or you could still follow a Peter Grimes' theme by dining out in Escondido.

    We don't restrict our search to restaurants that are within walking distance of the opera - just any good restaurant that is open late (after 10 pm) would work for us!

    Yakitori on 5th is a good choice for late night dining (they open till 1am). It is Japanese BBQ chicken and its parts, beef, and vegetable on a skewers. It has a great selection of Sake and Japanese beer. It is inexpensive but can get busy late at night.

    Emerald Seafood Restaurant on Convoy is another place that open till midnight and had a special disconunted menu for after 9pm dining.

    Sakura is a Izakaya on Convoy that open till midnght also. It had no sign outside so it is hard to find. It cater to mainly Japanese. It is located in the shopping center where Original Pancake House is on Convoy. It tuck away in the back and just look for a Japanese Restaurant with no sign.

    Here are 3 more restaurant that you can add to your list.

  19. Japengo in the golden triangle?

    Market Restaurant in Del Mar is a must. Check it out at its website: www.marketdelmar.com

    You will not be disappointed. However, they are always full so make sure you have your reservation before you go and they are not cheap - starter around $10-15 and entre $28-40.

    Place looks great, and $68 for a 10 course tasting is actually a great price! thanks for the tip

    $68 is for a 4-course tasting menu. Market is overall a good but not outstanding restaurant.

    If Market is good which restaurant do you think is great in San Diego. I am always in search for the best. Thanks

  20. Japengo in the golden triangle?

    Market Restaurant in Del Mar is a must. Check it out at its website: www.marketdelmar.com

    You will not be disappointed. However, they are always full so make sure you have your reservation before you go and they are not cheap - starter around $10-15 and entre $28-40.

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