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Blue Heron

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  1. In addition to wine or flowers, sometimes I bring something from our garden, ie. garden ripe tomatoes, or fresh green beans if they are in season. Recently we brought some freshly picked morel mushrooms. Fresh berries in season (fresh picked or from the farmer's market) are a treat to bring or receive. I can pickled asparagus in the Spring, so sometimes I will bring a jar of Pickled Asparagus w/ a nice ribbon on it. If I knew how to make jam (& I'm probably the only one in the world who has never made jam), I would bring that. I love when people bring me home made jam. For a party, Microbrewery type beers are fun to bring. Someone brought Blue Heron beer to one of the NW eGullet potlucks, and I loved that! For non alcohol drinkers, I have brought a pound of nice gourmet coffee beans that I think they will enjoy. edit: a box or little cellophane bag of nice quality chocolates can also make a nice gift. A nice ribbon or bow makes it look more festive (I hope I'm not sounding too much like Martha ).
  2. I'd like to add that it was Jaymes beautifully written memories of meals with her grandmother that inspired me to begin this thread. If you haven't read her bio yet, it is a real pleasure: Jaymes bio w/wonderful descriptions of food memories w/ grandma It includes bits of Col klink's and tommy's childhood food memories, too.
  3. When I was a kid, when my dad had to go on a rare business trip, mom always fixed us something really special at home like broiled Australian lobster tails, Dungeness Crab w/ cocktail sauce, Batayaki or Shrimp Tempura. I have fond memories of those special dinners with mom. Now when my hubby has to go on a trip, I always try to make sure I treat myself to something special, too. Other favorite food memories I have as a child: - A & W rootbeer floats - XXX Drive In - carhop would bring tray of burgers, corndogs, fries & shakes and hook it on our partially rolled down window, and we ate in the car- that was fun. - Swanson's TV dinners served on a TV tray in the family room, watching something like Wizard of Oz, Superman, or Twilight Zone. - Banana popsicles or Pushups from the Popsicle truck that would go down our street on summer evenings. - mom's Lasagne. - mom's popcorn made in the skillet, with lots of butter on top, for when we watched Wonderful World of Disney and Bonanza on Sunday evening. I have to give my dad credit, he was also always in there watching along with us. - holiday dinners at Grandma's house, with the whole family. - pan fried trout over the campfire on a family camping trip. - ordering Frog's Legs when I was about 10 or 11, at a special dinner at the local Country Club. What are some of your favorite childhood food memories?
  4. As a follow up to Steve Klc mentioning a potential 5 favorite food books list in an earlier question: I'm on the west coast & unfortunately don't get a chance to read your paper very often. You mentioned that you get a chance to see several cookbooks and food books. If you get a chance, I would be very intersted if you would be willing to share with us your personal 3-5 favorite food books, or personal favorite cookbooks, or cookbooks that you think the recipes turn out particularly well. Thanks.
  5. I loved reading about your potluck and what a great success! Reading the menu and enjoying all the pictures made me wish you all weren't so far away (from Seattle, that is). I like the idea of an eGullet NATIONAL convention.
  6. I have not been to South Park yet for Mexican, and am looking forward to reading your article when it comes out. I have never actually seen a taco truck before either, but have read about them and would love to happen upon one. I believe I have heard or read somewhere that South Park has tasty ethnic dining places. We anxioulsy await to hear more....
  7. Blue Heron

    Dinner! 2002

    For lunch today I prepared Copper River Sockeye w/ fresh Morel Cream Sauce...yummm that was good. Served w/ Jasmine Rice & Fresh Steamed Spinach.
  8. A belated Happy Birthday Steve. I'm not often in the NY forum, but I could not resist reading about your birthday dinner. Wonderful detailed descriptions, and it was the next best thing to actually being there myself. The glass of '72 La Tache sounded amazing, too. I can only imagine. Thanks.
  9. Hey papachef and everyone.... I was just cruisin' thru Amazon's online menus this evening and came across the Blue Onion Bistro's new menu... check it out when you get a chance, as it wasn't there when I first looked earlier in the week. Great to see Amazon's adding more and more menus.
  10. My favorite way to eat salmon roe is on thin sliced rustic bread to which a thin smeer of unsalted butter has been added. This is very popular with the American Russian community, too. The bread & butter cuts the saltiness of the roe.
  11. cabrales, you bring up a very interesting point, which I had not thought of before. Salmon roe is delicious, but I can't say that I have heard of CRS roe being marketed. A good question to ask our fish monger. Thanks.
  12. Jim, thanks again for the scoop on bottarga and the link. I called De Laurenti, at Pike Place, and they said they sometimes carry it, but are out at the moment. It sounds like another wonderfully flavored, albeit expensive, ingredient I would love to try. Salty and fish roe are right up my alley. A quick shopping trip to Costco, 4th Ave S. Seattle location, today revealed they had a lot of fresh whole Copper River Salmon at $3.99/lb, wrapped w/ todays wrap date. I believe it was cleaned w/head removed. They were about 5 pounds, ranging in price from about $19-$26 for a whole salmon. Today for lunch, I just baked the CRS sockeye I bought yesterday w/ olive oil, S & P for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Served it w/ coleslaw and seasoned baked potato wedges. It was so good. (I'm cooking easy these days). I've also heard something about worms in wild salmon, but I think the higher quality sushi places are aware of this and know what to look for. However, I did freeze my latest batch of gravlax almost 24 hours (for the first time), before eating. I could not tell it had been frozen, which was nice.
  13. Jim, thank you so much for the detailed description of bottarga. It sounds like a great little thing to have on hand. I bet it would be delicious on spaghetti and your salsa verde, or maybe your bottarga salsa on bruschetta...yum.
  14. Wow, cream puffs served w/every bowl? Now I really have to try Than Bros. They also have a location in the U district near University Way & 45th. Anybody been to that location? A couple of time I almost went, but at the last minute went to Thai Tom instead. I believe it was at Pho Bac on Hanford St. that I also tried a fried bread stick/roll kind of thing with my pho, which was about 50 cents extra. It was ok. You hit the nail on the head about adding hoisin. The broth tastes better to me without it, too, although some people might disagree. Regarding the tripe in the soup.... if my memory serves me, the pho's tripe is kind of honey combed looking, white, and chewy, and tripe in the tacos was completely different looking (& tasting).
  15. Great sounding dinner Jim, mmmm. If you get a chance, please tell us more about bottarga. I read it is kind of a caviar or fish roe? Where do you get it, and what is your favorite way to serve it? Is it a fresh local product, or imported from Italy?
  16. This is a continuation of a discussion on Pho that was started in the Taqueria Pancho Villa thread.... Where do you all like to go for pho? Has everybody tried it? It's soooo good, you gotta try it if you haven't. I think I've only been to 4 pho places, one of which is no longer in business (it was on Calif. Ave. in W. Seattle, but is now Kamei Japanese Restaurant). I like Pho Bac very much. I've been to their location on Hanford (off Rainier Ave), and their location up at the top of Little Saigon. Both are good, and I like the Vietnamese casual ambiance there, too. We also go to Pho Hoa 618 S. Weller. It's an Americanized looking place, but always packed when we go, and the pho is Mr. Heron's favorite. Where ever we go, we always order the combo, which I believe includes thinly sliced steak, brisket, tendon, meatball & tripe. Even if it's not on the menu, which might be the case at Pho Bac, one can ask for the combo and they will gladly make it. And what condiments do you like to put in yours? I load mine up with bean sprouts, basil, jalapeno, lime and some hot sauce. For some reason, I don't put much if any hoisin in mine. Mr. Heron loads his up with everthing except the hot sauce (I think it's called sricchia or something like that?).
  17. klink, thanks for the update. I haven't had menudo before, but I had their tripe tacos and I can't say that I liked it. I do like tripe in pho, however. Mr. Heron has had menudo, as well as plenty of tripe soup in Switzerland, where the recipe includes tomatoes. He likes it. Pancho Villa is a place I want to get back to. I liked their tacos al pastor very much. I'd also like to try their ceviche. btw, did you like Than Bros pho? which location did you go to? I've heard they are very good, I believe they got a thumbs up from perfectcircle. Maybe we should start a pho thread?
  18. The (West Seattle) Admiral Safeway has fresh CRS sockeye fillet today at $5.99/lb. I talked to seafood mgr. John, and one does not need to use the Safeway card to get the sale price. He also said, at least for his seafood dept. one never needs to use the card to get the sale price on any item in his seafood dept. All this time, and I didn't even know... it pays to ask. I believe this price will be offered until the next ad comes out next wed., unless they run out. He also mentioned the $7.99 price in the Safeway ad that came out today is a misprint...the price should read $5.99/lb. I wasn't planning on getting any, but when I saw that great price, I just had to get some more.
  19. Blue Heron

    making lox?

    Making your own gravlax is pretty easy. I just made some Wild Fennel Gravlax with some fresh Alaskan Copper River Wild Sockeye Salmon over the weekend with excellent results. This recipe is paraphrased and slightly adjusted from a recipe from the Williams Sonoma - "The Pacific Northwest" cookbook. I combined 1 tsp fennel seeds with 1/3. C. sugar, 1/3 C. coarse salt, 1 tsp. coarse pepper. I rubbed (2) 1/2 lb. salmon fillets (de-scaled) on both sides with the fennel-seed mixture (using it all). The I placed 1 of the fillets flesh side up on a piece of saran wrap and topped with wild fennel fronds. Then sprinkled 1 T. or more of vodka over it. Then I placed the second fillet flesh side down over the first piece of salmon, making kind of a sandwich. Then finished wrapping in saran wrap, and placed in a plastic container to fit. Placed some weighted cans on top and refrigerated almost 48 hours, turning over once or twice. Then I washed off the fennel fronds and other seasonings and re-wrapped it in saran and put in the freezer for almost 24 hours (for safety), then thawed it. This is the first time I've ever froze it, as this recipe called for it, and I figured what the heck, I'll follow the recipe. As it turns out, I could not tell it had been frozen, and many grocery stores also sell their's frozen/thawed too, as that is how it arrives at their stores. I served it on thin sliced campagnola (wheat country) bread with a light smeer of butter first. Excellent. You can substitute dill for the fennel, and also use brandy in lieu of vodka, or adjust the seasonings to your liking. Be sure not to skimp on the salt though. There is also a thing on the market called the "lox box" for maybe $15 that will also produce excellent home-made gravlax/lox and I've used it many times with success, too. Good luck.
  20. Thanks, Jinmyo. I had not heard that before. Makes sense now. I also just learned that sometimes the British enjoy peas with fish and chips, kind of a traditional pairing I was not aware of before. Also British marrowfat peas...wonder if that's as in bone marrow?
  21. Nigella won me over in this article when I read that she uses the bouillon cube, as do the Italians. I also use bouillon paste several times a week in one thing or another, many times in lieu of salt, and the Swiss use it nearly every day, and they are no slouches, either. stellabella, you are right on with your comments about her, too. I think one of the reasons her cooking style appeals to stellabella, me and others, especially in this article, are that we are most likely part of her target audience, and those that don't like her style, well... aren't. However, I draw the line at using canned peas, though, but anything else goes.
  22. The fresh ground pepper question doesn't bother me too much, as I pretty much like fresh cracked pepper on most things I order, for visual asthetics as well as flavor. However, I agree it's best if a table has it's own peppermill, although I realize restaurants and many patrons like this ceremonial pepper grinding service. Same goes for the waitperson who brings around extra parmasan cheese for the pasta. I'd rather just have the freshly grated parmesan cheese dish left at my table, please. I've never noticed the check on the sushi before. As for wobbly tables, ditto for wobbly chairs or benches (we have benches in our neighborhood taqueria...great food, but wobbly benches)....or tables so low I can't cross my legs (big rant), or tables so high that I feel rather small. Fortunately, these occasions are very few, and I'm actually pretty easy to please. I don't know if this is a 'quirk' per se, but I really enjoy a restaurant with a clean and well stocked restroom, preferably with fresh flowers, artwork and cotton/linen towels. You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the quality of their restroom.
  23. We had Copper River Sockeye fillet last night. I kept it really simple, just seasoned w/ S&P and pan fried it on Med. high heat in a couple tablespoons of canola oil, about 3 min. each side, and squeezed a little fresh lemon juice on it. Perfect. Later on I prepared Wild Fennel Salmon Gravlax with the remaining fresh salmon. Hope it turns out ok (new recipe). mamster, thanks for letting us know about the Bittman method. I only recently even heard of him (on eGullet), but after checking out 3 of his cookbooks, I'm a fan, and would love to get one of his cookbooks, maybe the big one.
  24. I posted it yesterday on the General board, but it got a lukewarm reception over there. I think it's pretty neat, actually, but I love reading menus. mamster, maybe you might want to consider working it into one of your upcoming restaurant reviews, since Seattle is so well represented, and it might be of interest to your Times readers. It appears it is a free service from Amazon.com, and looks like it will eventually be a site where one posts reviews (perhaps in the manner of a citysearch.com), makes reservations and places take out orders. It will be interesting to see how it pans out. They are seeking suggestions/input during this beta test period.
  25. Yes. Menus quickly get out of date, and I hope they will have a way to keep on top of this problem. In the meantime, one can get a general flavor or ingredient style for a particular restaurant, as well a general feel for pricing. It appears they are asking restaurants or customers to mail them a hard copy of their menu in order to scan it. Another handy feature is one can do a search for "menu item" ie. pork cheeks (which is something I've been interested in trying), or whatever one has a taste for, and all the menus with that item on it will pop up (ie. 8 Seattle menus popped up w/ pork cheeks, including Salumi & Mashiko).
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