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Blue Heron

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Posts posted by Blue Heron

  1. The water from very wet mushrooms need not be cooked down with the mushrooms themselves.  Wet chanterelles, for instance, often dump a bunch of water after you begin to heat them.  You can fish out the mushrooms at that point, reduce the liquid 90%, and add the chanterelles back to continue cooking.  That way you don't boil them into mush, so to speak.

    That's a good point so I thought I'd highlight it.

    Wow, what a great tip, thanks. I hate water laden mushrooms, too (so common in the rainy season).

    Like Jin and others, I don't wash wild mushrooms, opting to brush the dirt off with a damp paper towel or using a knife to flick the dirt off. I've been mostly lucky with clean mushrooms, and never found a slug (yet). Last year because of the strange weather, our wild mushrooms had more tiny worms than I'd ever seen before which was a real pain to clean (including in chantrelles and matsutakes). Look closely to avoid them!

    Hubby is out today on the first of the season mushroom outing with the Seattle Mycological Society.

  2. I finished the last day of the promotion Thursday with a fantastic lunch at The Georgian. Very high quality and a great bargain. I started off with a couple of slices of kalamata olive bread and butter, followed by my apppetizer... the Four Eleven Sushi roll, which turned out to be a 'huge' sushi roll featuring fresh dungeness crab! In addition to crab, it also contained salmon, avocado, julienned carrot and pea shoots. It was cut into 6 generous pieces artfully arranged and then topped with 4 additional large pieces of crab leg meat. It was good! It was served with wasabi, soy and a thousand island type dressing on the side. Under normal conditions, this large appetizer would suffice for my lunch, it was that big.

    For my main course, I selected Beer Battered Halibut Cheeks. This consisted of 2 very huge pieces of juicy and delicious halibut cheek covered in a tasty crispy coating. Sort of an English style fish n chip I guess. It's rare to see fried halibut so nice and juicy. It was served with roasted purple potato wedges and an ample heirloom tomato & peashoot panzanella salad. It was a full size meal, and also on the regular menu priced at $14 I believe, making this 3 course lunch for $12.50 an incredible bargain. I was so full from the appetizer and wanting to save room for dessert, that I actually took half of my lunch entree home to finish later on.

    I selected the Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts with Cappuccino ice cream for dessert. I loved this, too. I enjoyed the ice cream and one of the donuts and took one home for later. I was stuffed at this point (even having forgone breakfast to save up for lunch).

    Service started out a little slow, but once I told her I was in a little bit of a hurry, things went very smoothly from then on.

    All in all a very enjoyable lunch in a beautiful setting. The hotel itself is under some renovation construction inside and out (but not in the restaurant).

  3. I'm not a PETA person, but psychologically, I don't think I could eat horse meat.  It's in the pet category, like cat & dog.

    I also didn't know that horse meat was legal to eat anywhere in the US.  um, is it?  :blink:

    Dog and cat is pretty good eating too


    OMG Simon. You ate Fluffy and Fido?? :sad:

    edit: even Bourdain wouldn't eat Fluffy. :wub:

  4. I'f you'd like a link to the pictures I took throughout the process, pm me. Here's the final product:


    I was lucky enough to get to taste some of klink's smoked turducken and just like everything that klink smokes, it turned out delicious. I've never had roasted, but I can say smoked is very good. :cool:

  5. I was at Earth and Ocean for the $12.50 lunch on Monday (the lunch menu is almost identical to the dinner menu, by the way). I thought the venison stew, though not spectacular, was quite tasty with tender chunks of meat - I also really liked the bacon and dark bread garnish. And I loved the light and creamy carrot soup. I can't remember what the contrasting cream topping it was, but it worked well. I've written about my issues with the E&O desserts in the past (too sweet, overly garnished), but the little fig pastry things were good. Service was prompt and accomodating.

    Hubby and I were also at Earth & Ocean on Monday for lunch and had the good fortune to run into nightscotsman and another eGer, who joined us at the next table over (tables are close there so it was almost like we were 1 party). :smile:

    We started our lunch with the poached leek salad, and we both though the dressing was a little too tart/sour for our taste and overpowered the salad, which was otherwise very tasty.

    My seabass wrapped in bacon was similar in flavor to that described by Hal in an earlier post, which was lacking in flavor. The best part was the fish was that which had come in direct contact with the bacon. I would have to say though that a fish as high in fat as seabass shouldn't really need the addition of bacon, although bacon does improve the flavor of just about anything. As seabass goes, I think the dish was a bit of a disappointment overall, as seabass is one of the more forgiving fish and is hard to screw up (or perhaps I'm predispositioned to enjoying seabass in some type of asian marinade and then barbequed or grilled). Hal, my lentils were on the crunchy side, too. :blink:

    Hubby liked his venison stew. I had 1 bite, and true to form, I didn't really care for it (I'm not a venison fan... it always tastes a bit dry to me).

    Both desserts were great. Mine was a chocolate mousse thingy and his was a delicious flaky pastry thingy with fig paste inside.

    The portions for this lunch were just right, as was my portion (lunch) at 727. Dinner portion at Flying Fish was very generous and I took some home.

  6. girl chow... thank you again so much for the extra ticket and letting me tag along with you last night at the Oyster Olympics. I had a blast with you! :wub:

    Whereas girl chow thought she ate too many oysters, I think I drank wayyy too much wine! All those tiny sips of this and that add up after a few hours. Like gc, I also loved the Chehalem Pinot Gris, as well as their chardonnay which was not too oaky. Chateau St. Michelle served a sparkling blanc de blanc which paired nicely. I also enjoyed a couple of syrahs and merlots, and wish I had taken better notes. Although we didn't drink any beer, Red Hook was also there.

    I think I ate 3 dozen oysters or more! The kumamotos were my favorite... just the perfect amount of saltiness, brininess, texture and size. They were a favorite of the crowd, too, and seemed to disappear quickly towards the end of the evening. The prized tiny Olympias were my 2nd favorite, about the size of a thumbnail, mild and delicious. We stood there eating them as fast as the Olympia Oyster purveyor could shuck them, but he didn't seem to mind, and we didn't either, because he was a real cutie. :laugh:

    Of note, during the oyster shucking competition it was announced the 2 Canadian teams from Vancouver had to cancel due to problems at the border, so unfortunately they were not in attendance (in case Steven S. is reading along).

    My cocktail sauce is a basic but good one that comes from Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe book. It includes ketchup, horseradish, s & p, chile powder, cayenne and fresh lemon juice. girl chow's mignonette was really good and clearly beat the pants off the 1 mignonette they served w/ the barbequed oysters.

  7. To me there is nothing more distracting or disturbing than to walk into a restaurant that smells like bleach or cleaning fluids (like they just mopped the floor or cleaned the bathrooms). I won't even sit down, just leave. And a trendy restaurant in my neighborhood has the strangest unpleasant scent of tar when I walk by. I don't know how people can get past that scent to even go inside. A restaurant must smell neutral or good as a prerequisite.

  8. I like bean curd, (however I'm sort of a novice).

    At home I like tofu cut in cubes, then stir fried in oil to brown them a bit. Then remove from pan so they don't crumble apart while other ingredients are stir fried, and then added back in towards the end, drizzled with a little sesame oil and hot chile oil.

    I also recently enjoyed a a dish which included bean curd sheet. It was paper thin sheets of bean curd rolled or wrapped in kind of a small cake form. It was served with sugar pea vines & black mushrooms. Very yummy.

    I've recently started buying a local (in Seattle) fresh made tofu. It comes in 3 versions... soft, firm, and already fried, and they are all good.

  9. According to his food tv bio, he has his first cookbook coming out in April.

    " His highly-anticipated debut cookbook, Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen (Clarkson Potter) hits bookstores nationwide April 2003."

    Apparently his show comes on right after A Cook's Tour on Friday nights? A great lead in show for Tyler. :wink:

  10. Do mushrooms count?  I love Chinese mushrooms in soups, stir fry, egg rolls...

    They count for sure.

    What are some of the names of chinese mushrooms?

    I can think of cloud ear, wood ear, straw, black (Shitake)... Is oyster mushroom Chinese as well?

    I guess there would also be lots of various chinese mushrooms in chinese herbal medicine (off topic).

  11. I finally made it to 727 Pine for lunch today. I was expecting a more formal setting/dining room, but where we were seated was a less formal (but still nice) coffee shop area. The booths are very comfortable, though. The restaurant was not very full.

    I ordered the Spring Garlic Soup - creamy and very mild and delicious garlic flavor. The garlic shoots give the soup it's appropriate spring green color. Tasty crisp croutons and garlic chips garnished it, along w/ a drizzle of olive oil I think.

    My main course was the Troll King Salmon w/ celery root puree & brussle sprout/bacon hash. The salmon was adequate, but not high quality, had a slightly fishy taste, and was slightly overcooked IMHO (med+). It had nice crispy skin, though. Based on the flavor of the salmon, I would not recommend 727 Pine to anyone in search of a good NW salmon dinner (I've had better Salmon at Ivars). Instead I would send them to Flying Fish where the Wild Steelhead I had last week tasted infinitely better and has a nicer (although noiser) setting as well.

    I had a taste of my dining companion's Braised & Grilled Baby Chicken with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and thought it was juicy, flavorful and right on.

    For dessert, I opted for the sorbet trio of Passion Fruit, Lemon and Grapefruit. Extremely intense flavors and very tart/sour. I liked it. It woke me up.

  12. Edit: The free ticket is now officially spoken for!! Blue Heron and I will post here after the big event  :biggrin:

    I am so happy my fast typing skills came in handy yesterday and that I am the lucky recipient of girlchow's extra ticket to the Oyster Olympics! Thank you girlchow! I'm so grateful. :wub:

    I can hardly wait!! I will also give a full report along with girlchow afterwards.

    But I have to say my favorite bivalve is Philippe Candeloro, (even if he is from France). What a cutie. Maybe he will be on ice with his shirt off. :wink:


  13. I actually do know people that are stocking up.  And there have been many articles in the local magazines and newspapers about what to choose - 1 gallon of water per person per day, and to count on about 7 days - and so forth.

    It sorta reminds me of the "earthquake kit" that we were all supposed to have when we lived in California....

    Bottled water, peanut butter, non-electric can opener, canned goods, crackers, paper towels, non-water cleansers, flashlight, batteries, transistor radio, that kind of thing.

    Also, we were told to have a supply of several sizes of garbage bags, to put all sorts of yucky things in, if we were going to be trapped for several days in a small space, no electricity, etc.  We were to keep all of this in an interior closet (preferably in a hall) and when there was an earthquake, to go there immediately.

    In Alaska, we were to keep an "emergency kit" in our vehicles in the winter:  a blanket or bedroll, a large metal coffee can and matches and candles and some peanut butter and a couple of candy bars for quick energy.

    The thing was that a candle in a metal coffee can gives off enough heat to keep you alive in a stranded car.  Also, you can use it to melt snow.  The "candy bar" thing never worked out for me very well, though.  I just kept eating them.

    That's an excellent list Jaymes, plus great links from Steven. I keep pretty much stocked up on those items just as a result of living in an earthquake zone, plus I keep an emergency kit in the trunk of the car, too. One x-mas I bought earthquake kits for all my family members. However I didn't know about the candle in the coffee can thing. That's a great tip. Also in my earthquake kit I keep aspirin and even my old prescription left overs of the strong stuff from post surgery, since in a disaster one might not be able to get to a hospital, bridges could be down, etc. and you'll basically be on your own to cope with any posibble injuries for a few days.

  14. Some services in Washington State are taxed. I pay sales tax to Washington Tree Service when they come out 4 times a year to spray our trees & shrubs. I've never heard of having to pay sales tax on a restaurant service charge or tips though. That's a new one to me.

  15. I have the rabbit, but for some reason I find it hard to expel the cork from it when I'm finished opening a bottle. However I love my pocket model screwpull. I've had it a few years and it's still going strong, and works like a charm for me. My least favorite are the 2 prong thingies you slide in and twist & pull. At a birthday party I was hosting, I splashed red wine all over myself trying to open a bottle with it, which was so embarassing. :raz:

  16. From what I hear, you basically have to know the family these days. They used to have a 2 year waiting list and then stopped taking reservations.

    edit: This is what Armandino does for his retirement; the fact that he serves dinner on occassion is a blessing to the blessed few who get to experience it. What's cool is that it's not a matter of having more money than anyone else, it's a whole different level of exclusivity.

    Since his dinners are so exclusive (which is understandable), it's a bit of a tease for them to post the full mouth watering menu on the wall for everyone to drool over. :hmmm:

  17. I enjoyed a flavorful grilled lamb w/roasted red pepper & grilled onions sandwich today. The only complaint is the one many of us have made before... too much bread (they should consider another sandwich roll all together I and another eGer were musing, or maybe serve them all on baguettes?). mb70 and I have learned a decent trick to get around their thick sandwich rolls. You remove half the thick bread and then fold your sandwich over. Messy, but delicious sandwich, and the flavor of the meat shines through instead of being overwhelmed by bread.

    Klink's cottechino sandwich looked fabulous as did someone's meatball sandwich. I would order either of those next time.

    Jim... once again, I did not see a short rib sandwich on the menu. I wonder what's up with that? They also did not offer a pork belly or pork cheek sandwich today, either. Hope you get to feeling better soon Jim. :wub:

  18. I don't think anyone has mentioned pickled aspargus, but they are really quite tasty. I wait til they are in full season, and about .79 cents/lb, and buy a box full. I get together with a friend (who's been making them for years) and we make a brine with vinegar, water, salt & sugar, and then in each jar of asparagus before canning, we throw in some black pepper (and a few whole peppercorns), dill seed, a couple cloves of garlic as well as a couple of small dried red chile peppers. Process it for 10 minutes in a hot water bath. They are great to munch on or take to potlucks, too.

    I'm also a fan of roasted asparagus w/balsamic and olive oil, or just simply steamed or microwaved and served with homemade mayo. I've also found some new ideas here I can't wait to try.

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