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David A. Goldfarb

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Posts posted by David A. Goldfarb

  1. Checking in again on this thread after a trip to Monhegan Island, Maine, where it's still a little before tourist season, and there wasn't much available in the fish market except for lobster, so there were three of us for three nights with a lobster each per night, and the Ryback folding knife turned out to be heavy enough to be quite a suitable lobster cracker. It took two cuts per tail, instead of one as with a longer knife, but not hard to make a nice clean straight cut through the shell.

  2. I've been away from the forum and for the past three and a half months away from New York, and I just learned the sad and shocking news of Steven's passing from Ellen's post under his account on facebook.

     

    Steven was an enormous personality and it came through in his words. I felt we had similar ideas about writing and online community, but he was also a guy living in New York, with a love for food, around my age, with a son around my son's age, and those things made for a natural connection. I will miss his wit and his presence.

  3. We buy it from a farmer's market sometimes when we're in Hawai'i. In Tagalog it is "alugbati." The secret is indeed not to overcook it to avoid the slimy texture. I usually toss it quickly in olive oil and garlic, or whatever flavor combination works with what else I'm making.

  4. My picky six year old son, whose main food groups are currently hard boiled eggs (just the whites, cut with an egg slicer, dipped in Hawai'ian red salt), pepperoni pizza with the pepperoni removed and eaten separately, macaroni and cheese, greasy bacon and egg sandwiches from a certain deli near my wife's workplace, pancakes, chocolate milk, rice, and candy, really likes shmura matzoh. I do too.

  5. I haven't been to one since the 1980s, and don't know how much they've changed, but if you can find one, it is sure to be an interesting glimpse of the past.

    On my most recent trip, I had the occasion to stay at the Hotel "Hera," which is a University hotel that dates to the era of late Communism, and while the cafe was certainly updated since that era, the ladies working there, judging by a tone of voice familiar from that time, clearly had been long-term employees. I am sure that I was being put up in one of the nicest, recently renovated rooms, which had such amenities as an ensuite bathroom and shower, but there was something about the acrylic orange curtains, the synthetic sheets, and general design that hearkened to an earlier age. I was a guest of the University, but anyone can stay at the Hera, and it's quite cheap, particularly if you want the full experience of a room where you'll have to rely on the shower in the hallway, but you'll have to be able to make a reservation by phone, and I'm not sure the desk staff speak English.

  6. Chris--I missed your post back October, but I figure I might as well keep this topic up to date, since I've been to Warsaw a few times since I posted above, usually being led around by colleagues and associates or eating at friends' apartments, and the places I mentioned are still recommended by others, and I still haven't been to them. I tried to get to the cafe at U Kucharzy one morning for breakfast, and it was booked for a special event.

    One of two places that I found particularly memorable was Enoteka on ul. Długa, which had a great selection of wild mushroom dishes, quite a good steak, and an interesting selection of wines, which they import themselves. As the name suggests they are also a wine shop. It's a very laid back place. http://www.enotekapolska.pl/

    I also managed to get to Różana, which is more formal, such that some find a bit over the top in terms of decor, but for traditional Polish cuisine at the highest level--perhaps so high that it isn't quite traditional Polish cuisine--and outstanding service, it's very much worth a visit. http://www.restauracjarozana.com.pl/

  7. I wish it was just a county or state thing. No, It's a obsession with bacon thing that started in the BBQ community probably five years ago. Now everyone is doing it.

    https://www.google.c...chrome&ie=UTF-8

    I love bacon. Really really love bacon. But I don't like bacon explosions, it's the ultimate lily gilding over the top "lets see if we can weaponize bacon and be disgusting americans" thing.

    I think you would have to use this kind of bacon for this kind of dish:

    http://www.lapolicegear.com/cmmg-tac-bacon.html

  8. We could give SV more of a '70s feel by calling it "boil-in-the-bag" like we did back then. Microwave ovens weren't common yet, and I remember you could get things like creamed corn that came frozen in a vacuum sealed bag in a box. I realize they didn't use PIDs and circulators then since water boils at a consistent temperature at sea level at least, and it didn't have to be so precise anyway, since it was usually just warming up something that was already cooked, but whenever I see something sous vide I'm thinking "boil-in-the-bag."

    As Ruhlman says of pâté en croûte, "it's a meatloaf in a pie crust."

  9. Modernist technique like anything can be used in a superficial way, and I find that annoying, more than culinary modernism itself. Restaurants that are using modernist techniques to be trendy would have been serving small portions in a puddle of sauce on an enormous plate with a coulis and a powder in the 1990s. Glad that's over. There was never enough room on the table for those huge plates.

    One thing to be gained by experimenting with new things at home is that you can recognize them out in the wild, and it demystifies industrial food. For instance, by experimenting with xanthan gum, I've learned that one of the main things I dislike about processed food is xanthan gum, and despite my best efforts to domesticate it, it's not an ingredient that I really want to use, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that I might find some other industrial thickener that does cool things in the home.

    Knowing those things in the context of classical technique also helps to clarify, I think, what is really interesting about the traditional methods. There are also traditional methods that are better suited to the professional kitchen than home. I mean...I keep at least three kinds of stock, along with demi-glace, glace de viande, espagnole and various other sauces in the freezer, but I don't expect everyone to do that. If you were running a classical French restaurant kitchen and just trying to get the most out of all your ingredients, you would just have all those stockpots going all the time.

    The most interesting modernist cuisine is often taking traditional flavor combinations and presenting them in a new way, and when it's clever and playful and smart, I like it, whether it happens in a restaurant or at someone's home. At the same time I can be surprised by the complexity of a velouté at a place like La Grenouille in Manhattan where they still do it old school.

  10. My Irish Cappuccino of the moment:

    1/2 tsp brown sugar

    1 oz scotch--I'm being extravagant for a mixed drink with Balvenie Doublewood 12

    One shot of espresso

    Foamed milk floated on top as for a single cappuccino.

    Simple, if you can make a good espresso, but it's more concentrated and intense than a typical Irish coffee. I'm calling it a keeper.

  11. So one thing this thread has made me aware of is the crazy pricing psychology that makes us do this sort of thing. I mean, even if a 15 oz jar of mayonnaise costs $3, and a 30 oz jar costs $4, I should really buy the smaller jar, if I can't use the bigger jar by the expiration date. It will take up less space in my fridge, and I won't spend months wondering, "is this still good? well it smells ok and isn't moldy, should be okay," and amortized over a year or however long commercial mayonnaise is supposed to last, the small jar isn't such an extravagance in the overall annual budget picture. I can and do make my own mayonnaise, so it's not like I'm going to get caught short, if I use it all up. I just keep it around as a convenience. I've gone for years without having a jar of mayonnaise in the fridge.

    I ran out of Tabasco sauce I think a year ago, and I've been considering purchasing another bottle. Maybe I'm holding off, because it seems like such a long-term commitment. I have other hot things around, so it hasn't been too urgent to replace it, but next time, I'm getting the small bottle, even if the larger bottle is cheaper per ounce.

  12. This sounds like what we have in terms of size and layout, but ours is a Magic Chef. The knobs run in a line along the righthand edge of the cooktop. The front right burner is 14000 BTU, the others 11000 BTU. My widest pot, I think, is a 14" heavy copper (around 3mm thickness) rondeau--no problem with heat distribution with heavy copper, but the control knob does get quite hot right next to the edge of the pot. It hasn't melted, but I do have to remember to use a potholder when adjusting the flame.

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