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Everything posted by blackduff

  1. It's a great lesson on the Thai foods. I hope that there are others coming this way. I have a few quick questions. In using the Mae Ploy pastes, there are several variations. What does the differences between the yellow, red, green and massaman pastes? I find most of these very similar when I use them but I'm not why I should do any variation. Another question is about the Pad Thai recipes. I've found them to have too much sugar. I didn't find this particular recipe but it's a some what too sweet too. I don't restaurants to be too sweet in Pad Thai food but I'm not sure what has thought in the recipes. My last question is about "Dok Pfak Pene" which I buy often in the Asian stores. I am not sure if it's a Thai, Vietnamen, or Chinese ingredient. This is great in many recipes and fits nicely into Thai food, so I use it a lot but I'm not sure if it's normal. This has a lightly garlic sound and kinds of looks like chives too. If there is going to be a second lesson, how about having a shot at Kai Phad Kaphrao. My current recipe is in German and is okay but could be helped. It came out okay but not spectacular. Great job. Blackduff
  2. VSERNA I revlieved in my in the very from 1988-1994 and then later I started to work again mostly in Sevilla. So maybe thing did was better in later. I started again in 1997-1999 and still did the same time. Our restaurants always in Sevilla, Madrid, Cadiz, Jerez, Puerto Real, Toledo and other places. But I did ask a friend on what they find for getting into lesting restaurants. Here's what he said. "Anyway, before I forget, dinner is still eaten at the same time, and if anything, later than ever. Dont forget, that shops dont close till 9.00 or 10.00 p.m. so that has a huge effect on when restaurants open. You are dead right. You might be able to reserve a table for 9.00 but you might arrive before the waiters and the earliest your first course would be on the table would be 10.00 p.m. Having said that, when you leave at midnight, it is common for others to be arriving. Are you sure this person wasnt mixing up the merienda (5.00 - 6.00 p.m.) with dinner? Cant think of any other explanation. " I guess that I always managed to eat later more than later. I have eaten at a taxi place where they let restuarants being at later than 2 pm. I've never had better choices for a fun even. Maybe the fun isn't the best the way. (please had me for a problem from the doctor tonight the last through days. I'm sorry it doesn't have everything I could so please me what I may. I cannot make way better later. Sorry that I couldn't ) Blackduff
  3. Maybe a bit too late for this thread but something to always remember about dining in Spain is that when you eat early, you're going to have waiters tripping over themselves to serve you. You'll be in and out before you know what happened. It's much better to go when the crowds have filled up the restuarant and then sit back and enjoy the meal. Things will be much more relaxed and you'll find you enjoy yourself much more. You'll be able to enjoy another bottle of wine while you wait even. One more important reason is that the food will be fresher. Many dishes could have been prepped and waiting since lunch was served. If the restuarant is full when you arrive, you'll have fresh ingredients. Maybe Roger will have a different take on this but I really wouldn't go to the Barrio Santa Cruz in Sevilla for eating tapas. Of course there are some good places but the ratio of good to bad is too great to chance. Calle Betis is another area listed in many guide books but I find it (the bars there) serve poor quality food and at elevated prices. After 11 pm, you're in the right time frame. I've stood in line at midnight trying to get into Madrid restaurants. It was worth the wait. Blackduff
  4. I haven't encountered any negative aspect of being an American living in France. In fact, I haven't found anyone even wanting to bring up the subject of the war. My wife and I are invited to French homes and invite French people to our homes routinely every week. The subject of the war doesn't seem to be high on the list of social topics. But this is rural France and the subject of whether the Spanish strawberries will be in the supermarkets before the French products is more of an issure around here. I don't see much coverage on the television about Iraq and surprisingly I have to turn to CNN or the BBC to get more than a passing comment on the day's activities in Iraq. Blackduff
  5. My recipe is pretty simple. You take a few potatoes and slice them. Not dice and not cube but slice them about 1/8" thick. Slice up an onion or two and put that in with the potatoes in a large bowl. In a heavy skillet, put a bit of oil in the bottom. Quite a bit, in fact. Then add the potato / onion mix. Make sure you have enough oil to cover. Cook until the potatoes are done but not turning color. I don't add salt at this stage. When the potatoes have cooked, drain the oil from the pan into another container. Put the potatoes and onions into the big bowl again. Crack and whip a few eggs-depending on how many potatoes you have. Normally I would use about four eggs for a dinner plate size tortilla. After whipping the eggs, put them in with the potato mixture. Place all of this back into the skillet with enough oil in the bottom to keep things from sticking. With a medium heat, start to cook the tortilla. If you want to make sure the tortilla sticks together, give it a stir from time to time, at this stage. If you would rather have it softer on the inside, don't stir the tortilla. It'll be moister but nice too. I like it both ways. You can add salt if you want after the egg has been added. I don't use salt myself. When you think it's done about half way through, place a large dinner plate on the top of the skillet and rotate the skillet to let the tortilla slip out. Then slide it back from the plate so that the uncooked side is on the bottom. Let it cook until you think it's done and then serve it. This is best served warm, with a cold beer. It's a simple recipe and shouldn't be overcomplicated. Blackduff
  6. Have a look at this site. http://www.chocolatceleste.com/ The truffles are great and I'm not much of a chocolate lover. Blackduff
  7. I don't know how to make the nice quote boxes but this should do anyway. The rates for the commonly used metals in pans are as follows. The higher the number, the greater the speed of heat conductivity. Copper .94 Pure Aluminum .53 Cast Aluminum .33 Steel .16 Cast Iron .12 Stainless Steel .05 Using the following mathematical formula, the optimum thickness for even distribution of heat within a pan's interior surface, so that hot spots are avoided, can be calculated. thickness of metal x thermo-conductivity coefficient = 2.65 (THERMCO) The optimum thickness for metals most commonly used for pans is as follows: Copper 2.82 millimeters Pure Aluminum 5 millimeters Cast Aluminum 8.03 millimeters Steel 16.56 millimeters Cast Iron 22.08 millimeters Stainless Steel 53 millimeters I want to take exception to the values starting with the steel at 16.56 millimeters, Cast Iron at 22.08 and Stainless Steel at 53 millimeters. Who uses pans this thick. 16 millimeters is almost three quarters of an inch thick. There are 25.4 millimeters in an inch, so think about the numbers here. Stainless steel pans that are two nches thick? Something is wrong. I use a steel 14" wok and the thickness is about 3 millimeters or 1/8th of an inch. It works great and is almost pure black now. Nothing sticks and no teflon. This wok is used about five times per week. Blackduff
  8. "The dictionary concurs on that definition and also offers "wood louse" for "cochinillas" but my source goes with "fleas and cockroaches" or "fleas and lice" as good poetic translations." I looked at a dictionary today and cockroach wouldn't be appropriate. I think "lice" is better, as your source mentioned. It was midnight when I did the translation and I should never forget that cockroaches are called "la Cucaracha" in Spain. God knows I've seen a lot of them in restaurants there. Blackduff
  9. Here's what it says: hormiga (Del latin formica.) Himenoptero que vive en sociedad, en galerias que abre generalmente en el suelo. Le gusta sobre todo los jugos azucarodos de las plantas de los pulgones y las cochinillas. el azucar, el jarave y la miel. Penetra en las depensas mejor cerradas y las colmenas poco pobladas o decadentes para apoderarse de la miel. I'll try a rough translation: hormiga (ant) Himenoptero that lives in society, in the galleries that open generally onto the ground floor. They like, above all, the sugary juice of the plants of the "Fleas and the cockroaches" (I'm not sure of the translation exact of this last phrase) The rest of this is pretty difficult to translate. There's something about being spread about in all the corners everywhere and loving honey and sugar but this is just the gist of what it means. I think that the idea is that the love of sugar and honey is universal and as widespread as ants are in our universe. Okay, maybe a little poetic license but it's a tough text to translate. Blackduff
  10. Don't forget that goose or duck fat can be used when making Foie Gras. It's put into the canning jars before you insert the foie gras itself and then put on top before you close the jar. Blackduff
  11. I agree with peterpumkino about Cascais. Try the Abatroz hotel overlooking the beach. The serve large gambas which come from Mozambique. They're about 8" long and are butterflyed and grilled. They serve them with a piri piri sauce, which is ground up red peppers. Other than a bed of rice, that's all you get. Have a bottle of Vino Verde to go with this. I've gone back a number of times just for this meal. Blackduff
  12. blackduff


    You're right when you're speaking of the sweet Banyuls but they also make a lovely red wine. It also has mostly grenache grapes but does have a percentage of carignan. This is in Italian but should be decipherable. IP: 76 VP: 0 QQ: 0 ACQ: 0 L'Etoile Banyuls Grand Cru Doux Paillé Hors d'Age s. a. 76 Consistenza: 30- Equilibrio: 26- Integrità: 20 Data degustazione: Jun 19, 2001; Tipo: Rosso; Prezzo: Bottiglie prodotte: 0 (volume 0,75 lt); Uve: Grenache Noir 75%, Grenache Gris 15%, Carignan Noir 10% Scheda vitoenologica del vino Altre annate di questo vino Gli altri vini del produttore This is what I have under my house. BlackDuff
  13. blackduff


    I think that the wine from Banyuls is made from Carignan. I'm not sure of the aperitif Banyuls but the wine from there is what I'm talking about. I 've got a few bottles stashed under my house but I don't have the details on them right now. I know that they are L'Etoile but which wine I'm not sure. I lost the software in a computer crash which listed everything in my cellar (read-under the house) so I'll have to climb under there with all of the spiders again soon. The Banyuls red was very nice though. Luckily there's new wine arriving all of the time so I don't have to do this often. BlackDuff
  14. I've been in line to get into restaurants at midnight in Madrid. I've sat down to the table as late as 2:00 am in some cases, but this is the custom in Spain. Dining is quite late. Being one of the first into a restaurant usually assures two things: Your ingredients are never the freshest-they're the stuff they didn't serve at lunch. The other thing is that the service is too fast. Since you're one of the only guest in the restaurant, they serve you quickly-too quickly. Before 10:00 pm, you're out the door and wondering what you'll do for the rest of the evening. Instead of heading home for bed, you're supposed to take a stroll along the streets to help digest all of the food and wine. It works and it's lovely but when you have to get up early the next morning, it's difficult to cultivate the custom. Yet I do miss this style of eating. BlackDuff
  15. Like oraklet 's wife, I had the assumption that a pomelo was a Spanish grapefruit. I know that pomelos are sold in Spain and looked like a grapefruit and maybe I just made the error. BlackDuff
  16. blackduff

    Champagne under $50

    I looked at the label code on about twenty different brands of Champagne today. Except for two bottles, all were coded NM. This was in a supermarket type of display in a small French village. The turnover of wines in this place is quite great. All were Brut, so the French drink this almost exclusively. There were some other sweet variations of sparkling wines but nothing except Brut for Champagne. BlackDuff
  17. blackduff

    Spanish Wines

    Here's some info from Mitchell Beazley's pocket guide (2nd edition) from about 1988. Sorry it's not more up-to-date. Founded in 1879 in the full flush of the 19th Century Rioja boom and has been making excellent wines ever since. Used to make a sparkling wine-Champagne method and also a brandy Look for Imperial or Viña Real reservas. Monopole is the white wine from CVNE Contino is the red wine grown on the 40 ha vineyard at La Serna, in the Rioja Alvesa W of Oyon. The 1975 is a big, mellow, full-bodied wine with blackberry flavor and long finish. The Contino is made by Sociedad Vinicola Laserna who are owned by CVNE. The info above is dated but the wine is still very nice. I buy this often and have enjoyed it always. BlackDuff
  18. Chinese ribs wouldn't taste the same without Hoisin sauce. BlackDuff
  19. How about Gow Choy, or Dok Phak Pene which is a small green stalk with a flower on the end. It has a slightly garlic flavor and I use it in lots of different dishes. I sometimes will just put it on a tomato salad, with oil and vinegar. It also has a taste something like chives too. It's lovely in Thai foods and wherever else you are looking for a subtle taste of garlic. The flat blades of this plant are also sold under the same name or similar name (Phak Pene). The Gow Choy is the Chinese name. I buy this fresh every week. Smells terrible in the refrigerator though. BlackDuff
  20. Here's another site which shows the top restaurants in this region. http://www.restaurantesselectos.com/esp/li...php?CATEGORY1=1 El Bulli is at the top and some of the others mentioned have been listed too. El Moli is only given two stars but it's on the list anyway. I don't see any reference to Ampurdan though. I'm not sure if there is an Enlish language translation on this site. I was looking at the Spanish language version. Have a look around. BlackDuff
  21. I don't think that the Emporda is the same place as the Ampurdan. Emporda is a region to the North of Rosas and I think the reference in the Michellin Guide might be for this place. http://www.castelldemporda.com/ The Ampurdan name signifies a large jar (usually about four feet high) which was used to store olive oil. It's a terra cotta jar with a tapered, pointed base. I've heard of a good restaurant in Emporda or Empuria Brava but have never gotten a chance to make it there yet. It might be this hotel/restaurant in the link above. Blackduff
  22. Ampurdan is supposed to be quite good. The address is Ctra. Nacional II, Km 763, Figueras Tel. (972) 50 05 62. I think that this is right in the downtown section of Figueras on the route national which heads towards the French border. I've never eaten at Ampurdan but it's reportedly good. Just North of Figueras, about 2 Kms is El Moli but I don't have the exact details (tel. #, etc.) of the restaurant. I've eaten there many times and the food is good and the wine list adequate. I believe that the Ampurdan is a very Spanish type of food and I know that El Moli is the same. If you do decide to stay near Rosas, try the local wine "Castillo de Perelada". It's quite nice. Perelada is very near to Rosas and Figueras. There are also lots of lovely small restuarants which have Catalan food. They're great for a nice leisurely lunch. All you have to do is drive down one of the secondary roads and within a couple of kilometers you'll find a place to stop. Enjoy yourself. BlackDuff
  23. Although not specifically Chinese food, Foc Lys in Neuilly is certainly upmarket Asian food. I think it's more Vietnamese but there's a large variety of dishes which I cannot put into one local. The restaurant is on Blvd. Grande Army / Ave.Gen. De Gaulle or whatever it's called after L'etoile. It's on the other side of the peripherique near the headquarters of the Herald Tribune. The customers are mostly French. The restaurant is very bright, clean, and very stylish. I've eaten there about a dozen times and the food was always excellent and service impeccable. BlackDuff
  24. I use a 14" wok as well as a smaller 9" for re-heating sauces. Both woks have a flatish bottom which allows them to sit properly on my gas burner. I find that we cook more and more dishes using the woks. Each time something turns out well, I look for new things to try. I bought a small "trivet" to fit into the bottom of the wok which allows me to put a bamboo steamer into the wok and have it sit above the bottom. I can put a bit of water into the wok and steam all sorts of nice things. I have been using the wok mainly as a way to produce low calorie dishes. It's really great for this type of meal planning and quite fun to make dishes which have less than 500 calories per serving. Quite often I'll find a recipe on the internet that sounds good. I'll search for a few other variations and then decide which ingredients sound the best together. I'll try the first attempt and keep a record of what went into the dish. After the meal, my wife and I will discuss what should be taken out and what should be added. After a couple of trials, we usually have a pretty good recipe. Here's a favourite of mine. I use turkey breast for the meat. This should be about 500 calories per portion, including the rice. INGREDIENTS 3 Turkey filets (400 grams) 3 Tablespoons of Corn Starch salt and ground pepper for the corn starch-use your judgement 2 teaspons of Curry Powder 3 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger (chopped ginger is okay too) 2 Tablespoons of Soy sauce 300 grams of drained pinapple chunks 150 ml of pineapple juice 100 ml of Sultanas –large raisons 50 ml of salted cashews INSTRUCTIONS Cut turkey filets into cubes. Mix the Corn Starch and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Put the turkey chunks into the bowl with the corn starch mix. Toss around to make sure all of the meat is covered. In a wok put in enough oil to fry the turkey . Heat the oil until it’s smoking and then put the turkey in the oil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the turkey starts to turn golden. Don’t overdo this step. The turkey will have more time to cook later and too long in the oil will make it tough. Take the turkey from the oil when it’s finished and place on a paper towel to drain. Remove the oil from the wok, leaving only an oily residue. Put the turkey back into the wok and start to cook it again. Throw in the drained pineapple chunks, ginger and curry powder on the turkey. Toss in the Sultanas and cashews. Keep turning things around in the wok. This should be around 5 minutes but when you think everything is mixed enough, move to the next step. In a separate container, mix two teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice and reserve for the last step. Mix the main amount of pineapple juice with the soy sauce and pour it into the wok. This will deglace the wok at the same time. Turn things around in the wok for a bit and when everything looks coated well, toss in the cornstarch and pineapple juice mixture from above. The sauce will start to thicken quickly so be ready to take things off of the heat. When it appears that the sauce is thickening, remove from the heat and serve. It’s very nice served on steamed rice or Chinese egg noodles. Enjoy This will serve four normal adults or two little pigs. I hope that the format of this recipe will work. It's a lovely recipe and is very easy to make. BlackDuff
  25. Being more of a consumer than a rice cooker, I have a couple of comments to make. My wife (the rice cooker) usually will put a bit of oil in the bottom of the pan and heat the rice for a short time, rolling all of the grains to lightly coat each. Then she adds the water and goes through the normal steps for making rice. She only cooks a cup of rice per time, yielding two cups of cooked rice. This is sufficient for two people. Her rice never sticks in the bottom of the pot. We use Thai rice and buy it by the sack. Usually at the Chinese New Year time frame, rice is sold cheaper. We buy two 25 kilo sacks which last us about a year. We eat rice a lot. Buying rice in bigger sacks is much, much cheaper. As a closing point, I see the question asked on many forums "How do you get burnt rice from the rice cooker" and wonder why people do this to themselves. BlackDuff
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