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Blue Heron

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Posts posted by Blue Heron

  1. What ever happened to Le Tastevin. I loved that place. It was good if you had the cash to buy decent Bordeaux. Last time I was there was 1988 during the Olympics. we were all proudly Canadian with the victories by Lennox Lewis and Ben Johnson. Two days later Ben's secret was out and my appetite was ruined.

    Jacques Boiroux, who was part owner and and chef at Le Tastevin, is now part owner of the Queen Anne Thriftway chain, which recently changed it's name to Metropolitan Market. I saw him during Copper River Salmon season in Admiral Thriftway cooking up salmon. He is as friendly and sweet as ever. Swiss chef Kaspar Donier " Kaspar's" took over the Le Tastevin space years ago.

  2. Jaymes Chiles Rellenos casserole received huge raves last night from the PNW group when I brought it to Col Klink's smokeout/barbeque potluck party. People could not stop talking about how good it was. I served it accompanied with her Salsa on the side. That dish went FAST, too and went along great with the smoked goat, brisket and pork, as well as other party side dishes, which were delicious as well.

    Don't hesitate to try it, I think you'll like it as much as we all did. It's great to bring to a potluck or cookout.

    thanks Jaymes. :wub:

  3. Malaika, well, I am also not keen on heavily creamed stuffed sole type of dishes (reminds me of the 80's). With that reference, along with your previous experience with RUI, I can see why you are down on Seastar and Palisades, if that is the type of seafood dishes they are serving. But without having the benefit of that reference in your earlier post, I also thought "insipid" was kind of strong, and prompted my earlier reply.

    btw, lots & lots of people are in the food biz here. (and sorry, I didn't mean to discourage anyone from posting). Please keep posting! That's what keeps it interesting. :smile:

  4. Hubby was out with the mushroom group last weekend, and as per the article col klink linked to, they didn't find any morels. However, on the way home, he decided to give it one more try at a place that looked promising... and he got lucky and found and brought home 1 scant pound of perfect morels. I don't know the elevation he found them at.

  5. Admiral Thriftway in W. Seattle:

    CRS King fillet $23.99/lb

    CRS King steaks $19.99/lb.

    Jacques Boiroux was grilling and serving CRS yesterday just outside the Thriftway store... very yummy. Hadn't seen him in a long time, and he is as sweet and wonderful as ever. I learned through the grapevine he is also part owner of Admiral/Queen Ann Thriftway now.

    Another bit of Thriftway news... in July, the Queen Anne, Admiral and Proctor (Tacoma) Thriftways will all have a new name... They will be called Metropolitan Market. Also this Fall, there will be a new Thriftway store (same owners as those 3 stores) by Children's Hospital in Seattle, and next year a Thriftway in Federal Way. (Actually they will also be called Metropolitan Markets, then, too.)

    What are prices around town for CRS?

  6. Not to say your experience at Sea Star was not good, but I have heard from friends whose taste I trust, that Sea Bar is good. As I recall, you also didn't like Rovers in the past. I'm curious, if you are in the food industry, or a foodie civilian (like me)? :smile:

    Further more, I had a very mediocre-sub par piece of salmon served to me at 727 Pine during their 25 for $25 promo in March, and I would not recommend that place, although I know other people who have had great meals there. So quality can vary.

  7. I might even shop at Safeway if the price is low enough (ha!), but only with someone else's card  :wink:  I'm hoping Costco will have a good deal again this year like last year.

    With all the great wild salmon out of Oregon (?) right now, I won't be paying a premium for CRS when I can get wild king for half (or less even) right now. I'm happy to let the prices come down from the $25-$35 per pound I've heard quoted so far. Yikes. My food budget don't like that.

    I'm not sure if it is the case with all Safeway stores, but the Admiral district Safeway has never required you to use their card to get the sale price on their seafood. The sale price is already marked on the package by the seafood department and that's what gets rung up. :wink:

    girlchow, I'm totally with you on avoiding the exhorbitant $25+/lb CRS prices (which is what Admiral Thriftway was estimating it to start out at when I talked to them a week ago). I'll go for regular Wild King until the prices start falling on the CRS a week or so later. I heard last year prices were much lower than usual because it was a very good run. Lets hope this year is the same.

  8. Strictly for scientific purposes, I ate a croissant for a snack today. :laugh:

    Since I was at Pike Place Market, and walking by Le Panier, I stopped in to try their basic croissant, which I have had so long ago my memory of it was fuzzy. While ok, it was nothing to write home about. High points for flaky crumbs and bits landing on my top, but the flavor was a little bit lacking. Not too yeasty flavor which was fine, but also not a real nice buttery flavor either. I supplemented mine with a additional pat of butter.

    I have to admit, like heyjude, I'm a sucker for the large box of croissants from Costco. I warm them up in the oven which crisps them up a bit, and serve them when I have overnight guests in lieu of toast.

    I have fond memories of the Golden Croissant in Richland that my Vietnamese friends used to own. She went to Paris to learn how to make them, and her ham & cheese croissant was my favorite. I have not found one in Seattle that is as good. But sadly, she sold her store, and I have not been there in a number of years.

  9. Another vote for City Kitchens. Great quality and good prices.

    I don't get 'downtown' all that often though, but am more often at Pike Place Market (like today) where I like to sometimes stop by the kitchen store that's tucked into the market on the same side of the street as Sur La Table, but further north, and inside. I've also bought knives, scissors & cutting boards at the 'knive store' at the market on the same side of the street. There's just something about seeing that wall of knives that gets to me. :cool:

  10. If you're nice enough and there's enough of a bribe (hint: think gin :raz:), Blue Heron will tell you where she and Mr. Heron like to go.

    gin? :blink:

    Hubby went out mushrooming last weekend and only found 1 morel. We belong to the Puget Sound Mycologoical Society (which I highly recommend joining, for the lots of forays, classes, advice, etc) - Puget Sound Mycological Society

    Word around the club is that the season is still early, and no one is finding much yet. The general areas to look are along the rivers in Western Washington (but not the flood plains). If they are out... that's where to find them. Or in Eastern Washington. Last year there were lots in the Leavenworth burn area. Hubby said they are going to talk quite a bit about morels at the next Club meeting (Tue, May 13).

  11. Although I don't have a recipe for Off the Hook Green Beans, I do have their recipe for their famous Sichuan Green Beans, courtesy of Best Places Seattle Cookbook by Kathy Casey, Cynthia C. Nims, and Sasquatch publishing copyright 2001 (w/ their permission to post it on eG).

    A cut and paste from a year ago on the cooking forum...

    Wild Ginger's Sichuan Green Beans

    At Wild Ginger, the green beans are first deep-fried and then stir-fried with the remaining ingredients, using 2 separate woks.  If you have only 1 wok, use a saucepan for deep-frying.  Simpler yet, stir-fry the green beans in the wok until they begin to turn brown and blister, then continue as directed.  The double-whammy technique of deep-frying and stir-frying produces the best, most flavorful results, however.

    Note that the green beans must be fully dry before adding them to the hot oil for frying.  If any water is clinging to the beans, they'll sputter violently when added to the oil.  You'll want to rinse the preserved vegetable under cold running water before using, to wash away excess salt.  Sichuan preserved vegetable is available in Asian markets and on well-stocked grocery shelves.

    Peanut or canola oil, for frying

    2 T soy sauce

    2 t rice wine vinegar

    1 t sesame oil

    1 t sugar

    1 lb. tender green beans, trimmed & thoroughly dried

    2 T minced lean pork

    1 T minced Sichuan preserved vegetables

    1 t dried red pepper flakes

    POUR THE OIL to a depth of 2-3 inches into a large, deep, heavy saucepan & heat over medium-high heat to 400 F degrees (the oil should come no more than halfway up the sides of the pan).

    WHILE THE OIL IS HEATING, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar in small bowl.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved & set aside.

    WHEN THE OIL IS HOT, fry the green beans, in small batches, until lightly browned & blistered, 1-1/2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to paper towels to drain.  Allow the oil to reheat as needed between batches.

    HEAT A WOK over high heat until very hot, then add 1 T oil (it will begin smoking right away).  Add the pork, preserved vegetable, and red pepper flakes & stir-fry for 10 seconds.  The pepper flakes will give off peppery fumes, so be prepared with an exhaust fan or nearby open window.  Add the soy sauce mixture & heat, stirring, for about 15 seconds, being careful not to burn the sugar.  Add the green beans & toss until most of the liquid is reduced & absorbed by the beans, about 30 seconds.

    TRANSFER THE BEANS to a warmed platter & serve.

    edit: Ben, you'll note, there is pork in this recipe. :wub:

  12. It grows well in my garden, but tends to flower and bolt quickly.  So it's best to stagger the planting of seeds, especially to make sure there is plenty of cilantro by the time the garden tomatoes are ripe in the late summer. My hubby does not care for it, but fortunately it's easy for me to add several sprigs separately at the last minute to my plate.

    It helps to grow in and amongst other plants. It seems to bolt less rapidly when it is somewhat shaded, so I stick seeds in whereever I need ground cover.

    snowangle... thanks for the tip, I will try that. :smile:

  13. I love the way cilantro tastes ... fresh and festive. I love it in Salsas (Pico de gallo) and Vietnamese cuisine (and it's also great in those Thai Crab Salad in Endive Leaves that I make). It grows well in my garden, but tends to flower and bolt quickly. So it's best to stagger the planting of seeds, especially to make sure there is plenty of cilantro by the time the garden tomatoes are ripe in the late summer. My hubby does not care for it, but fortunately it's easy for me to add several sprigs separately at the last minute to my plate.

  14. mamster... what great timing for your question, because I've had Sauternes on my mind this week, too, since drinking a couple of glasses while up in Vancouver BC last week. Both glasses of Sauternes were paired with Fois Gras preparations, first at West Restaurant and then at Lumiere as well (they did the pairings). They went beautifully with the fois gras. I still need to post on those meals on the Vancouver board, too. Hope you had a great trip and look forward to reading about it.

  15. After our walk through the beautiful Kuboto Japanese Gardens in Renton today we stopped at a converted taco bus on the way home, at the corner Martin Luther King Way & Graham (also the location of Viet Wah Super Market) for a tacos lunch.

    The taco bus is called Taqueria Los Primos and, has 12 counter seats inside (cute). We had the tacos asada, carnitas and al pastor w/ a tamarindo drink. For $1 each, you get 2 small tortillas with grilled filling of your choice, w/ pickled carrots, jalapeno and lime on the side, and the drinks are $1 as well. They were pretty tasty, the asada and carnitas outshining the al pastor in this case. The tortas are only $3. This is only the 2nd taco wagon I've ever come across before and I get such a kick out of them. :biggrin:

    Took a walk through the Super Viet Wah grocery and it's quite a bit larger (and tidier) than the location up on 12th and Jackson in Seattle. Bought some salt & pepper shrimp from the deli at $6/lb, a pretty good deal. Lately I've been seeing durian in these markets, but have not tried it yet.

    edit: I just ate some of the s & p shrimp... and sorry to say, I don't recommend them. :sad:

  16. Subject to revision... :raz:

    1. Pre Dinner Happy Hour: dozen kumomoto oysters w/ girlchow's dynomite mignonette served w/ Oregon Chahalem Pinot Gris


    2. Cold Appetizer: Dungeness Crab and (Hood Canal) Prawn Cocktail

    3. Hot Appetizer: Steamed Clams & Mussels (Hood Canal)

    4. Salad: Sliced ripe tomatoes from the garden w/fresh mozzarella, basil, Jim Dixon's olive oil and balsamic, S&P

    5. Soup: Mom's clam chowder w/Grand Central Bakery roll

    6. Main Course: Mom's Lasagne followed by

    7. a plate of Alaska King Crab legs, steamed and served w/melted butter, and cracked Dungeness Crab w/ home made tarragon mayonnaise.

    8. Cheese course: Washington Cougar Gold

    9. Dessert: Puyallup fresh strawberry shortcake w/whipped cream

    10. Snack after dinner: Tim's Cascade potato chips & popcorn

    Edit: I forgot to include Salmon!

  17. I think you guys are all wrong here and Fat Guy has it dead on. The issue isn't whether presentation does make a difference in how something tastes, the issue is whether it should. And to any of you who claim that taste is influenced by the visuals, you need to do a better job of divorcing those two concepts. Yes presentation might make it more enjoyable to eat, yes more attractive and yes more appealing, but not taste better. It is physically impossible

    Regarding visuals not affecting the taste of the food...

    How does the visual of a dirty restaurant with smudgy silverwear, condiments with dried caked on whatever dribbled down the side, and perhaps a server bringing your food to you with grimy hands and an open wound affect the taste of your meal? Maybe there is even a dead fly or 2 on your plate. I say there would be a strong psychological component that would physically affect how that meal would taste to you (providing you didn't lose your appetite all together). Do you disagree?

  18. Why are you so determined to frame it in terms of taste? It's okay to be in favor of attractive food. I'm in favor of it. I think it's great. But it doesn't change the taste of the food. You can cite a million scientific studies about blue food coloring or red food or whatever -- I have acknowledged them and explained why they're irrelevant since the very beginning, yet people keep introducing them as if they change something about the nature of reality. They don't. Appearance and taste are two different things. Everybody knows it. The rest continues to be the same semantic discussion, over and over again.

    Steven, your problem is that you refuse to see that taste is not just what happens on the taste buds, but is what happens in the brain and how the brain interprets what you are tasting. And during an experience like tasting, the brain, along with the sense of taste, is also at the same time taking in the other 4 senses (of the experience), of sight (presentation), smell, touch and hearing, and I would say memory of previous taste experience and expectations. It's a package deal.

    And smart restaurants realize this, and that is why they take the care to make sure that along with a great tasting meal, the presentation and other factors that affect all of our senses will enhance the meal for the best enjoyment of the experience.

    edit: oops, Steven, when I said "your problem is" I meant that in an affectionate way. :smile:

  19. Taste can have more to do with just what goes on in the taste buds.

    Again, semantics. Yes, if taste includes perception of taste, all sorts of things other than actual taste can affect it. But surely you don't think the food is actually changed by these externalities?

    The fact that the food itself has not changed is not relevant to the way the food tastes, because of the psychological component that goes along with it. Unless you are talking scientifically molecule for molecule. But eating and tasting is not a scientific experience, it's a sensual one. And sensual experiences involve all of the senses. :wink:

  20. I agree that the way the food is plated opens up and closes down various gustatory possibilities.

    Me too. The rest is semantics. But you agree that the little yellow chicks on the egg cups don't mean shit, right?

    I disagree with Steven and agree with cabrales on this one.

    Taste can have more to do with just what goes on in the taste buds. I think it can have a strong psychological component to it, and the other senses all play a part. These are strong examples, but to make the point... say for instance one is having a delicious meal, while watching (seeing) something particularly gruesome at the same time. Does that affect the taste? I say yes. Say one is eating something delicious while at the same time hearing someone being tortured. Would that affect the way the food tastes to you, I say yes. Same with smell... if you are eating something delicious while at the same time there is a terrible odor of something rotting next to you, would that affect the way your delicious meal tastes? Yes. Nothing in the food has changed, but ones other senses and what goes on psychologically in your head will affect the way the food tastes.... both positively and negatively.

  21. I'm embarrassed to say this, but I only bought Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" a couple of weeks ago (1st edition at Maggie's Cookbooks W. Seattle).

    But better late than never I say, and what great timing... I love the diary! :biggrin:

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