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Alex Botero-Lowry

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Everything posted by Alex Botero-Lowry

  1. I occasionally make simple syrup from a light brownish-color cane sugar we get here in Phoenix that's made in Mexico. It's not brown sugar or turbinado, just a less refined sugar -a bit like old-time loaf sugar. I like to imagine that my drinks taste a bit more like Jerry Thomas' this way. Sounds like panela: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panela
  2. But it's a julep cup! Can I at least keep the straw? Just for more information, the bourbon is Four Roses (which is my favorite $20ish bourbon).
  3. I was wandering around the Farmer's market this morning, and I spotted a selection of different mints at one of the stands. They had spearmint, chocolate mint, and bergamont mint. After tasting and smelling each of them I grabbed the chocolate mint with a julep in mind. Normally I just use the generic chinese market mint up the street, so this was the first experimentation part: novel mint. I needed lemons and limes, and being in Northern California I don't exactly see great variants of that at the farmer's market for the most part, so I stopped by the little produce market on my way home. While i was there getting my lemons and limes I saw panela, and thought I would make aqua panela with it. So I get home, and start the fun process of picking a small solid block of ice I keep in a sandwich container in the freezer for just this occasion. Takes quite a while, I need to come up with a better crushing solution, but that's another story. Basically I muddled the chocolate mint with panela, instead of plain sugar like I usually use, addded the ice and bourbon, into my julep cup, and got the cone effect going on. I'm just sipping on it now, and I thought the idea of subtle variations on a theme was an interesting one. If you put a bunch of extra stuff in it, it's not really a mint julep anymore, but if you tweak the ingredients slightly what interesting things can you do? I've considered making a thai basil julep before once or twice as well. Here's my bad cellphone picture. I'm holding the plate up while taking it, which is why it's a little off. What other subtle variations have people tried and enjoyed in their cocktails?
  4. Colombian fried eggs. I've had them prepared in two different ways in Colombia and both are unlike any fried egg I've had in the US (except my mom's) and totally delicious. The first way is basically an egg in a special pit with two handles, the surface of the pot has little holes in it, but it's two layers of metal, and the holes are only in the first layer. It gets filled with butter and the egg goes in and is basically slow basted in the butter. Served in the pot sunny side up with an arepa (would be _so_ much better with toast instead). The second is the way eggs are fried for serving with beans and rice, which is basically an egg cracked into a pot of hot lard. It's crunchy and delicious and will reduce your life significantly. My mother, and thanks to years of watching, now myself prepare fried eggs that bring the two methods together. Basically butter is heated on high until it gets to the brown butter point, at which point an egg is cracked in, and flipped once it sets and then served on a plate. You get some of the crispy aspect of the second preparation, as well as it being over-easy, while getting the glorious wonders of the butter from the first prep.
  5. I suspect you were served: Nestle table cream, http://www.mexgrocer.com/2571.html It's basically light cream thickened with carrageen to make it hold its shape, and probably some preservatives. In Chile they'll often serve it with canned peaches in syrup to make it look like a fried egg.
  6. Growing up, my dad always used the Hungarian wax peppers as a suitable, if not perfect, substitute. Having subsequently had the chance to try the real thing, i think the substitute is reasonable. It has the similar grassy flavor and the heat levels are fairly close.
  7. This thread is highly diminished without pictures, but the ones my phone makes are pretty much un-identifiable. Might have to get a camera to be able to make better posts. Dinner was mirepoix soup (carrots, onions, and celery in homemade chicken stock with little soup pasta), and a pea shoot, olive oil, meat grease, salt, pepper, and sherry vinegar dressing. I keep a jar of random grease collected from pans meats were cooked in that I don't think will be too horrific, so that was probably a bit of bacon grease and grease from roasting veal bones from making veal stock. The soup was a good chance to taste my chicken stock more directly than I usually do. I think in the future I may include some actual chicken meat in the mix to intensify the flavor more.
  8. Sushi Kazu (between 9th and 10th on Irving). Every time I go there I am amazed by the quality of fish, the attention to detail on the cuts and the preparation (rice and wasabi amounts vary for each fish as is appropriate). Kazu-san is also careful to not have things that aren't good at the time, so often, for example, uni is missing on the menu. That being said, when it is on the whiteboard menu, it's some of the best uni I've ever had. For me the best stuff he does is the silver-skinned, and sometimes pickled, fishes like gizzard shad (kohada), sardines (iwashi), ebodai (butterfish), etc.
  9. I'm rather fond of Clover-Stornetta. I buy their dairy (mostly I buy half-and-half) over Strauss anytime. The product of theirs I'm the most fond of is actually their ``Extra Rich Milk,'' which is milk with more fat than whole milk but less than half and half, but I've never seen it for sale. Many of the coffee shops in SF seem to use it for their milk-based drinks though. It's very creamy and has a very subtle and interesting grassy taste to it that I find actually adds something interesting to drinks made with it.
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