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Everything posted by lstrelau

  1. I am an importer of Sherry and personally prefer it on its own but from a 'sales' standpoint, the more we can sell the better so I am happy to see it becoming popular as a cocktail ingredient. A local Calgary restaurant featured a sherry-based version of a Johnny Appleseed on their fall menu - Calvados, Pommeau, bitters and Fino/Manzanilla. Another restaurant in Jerez, Spain makes a Mojito using the entry level brandy that is produced by our Sherry bodega. (of course only Sherry-influenced since the brandy is matured in sherry casks. I couldn't find the recipes but the recent SherryFest in Toronto included a Sherry cocktail competition. Perhaps someone on the forum knows the results of this event? A couple of the sherry books I have include a list of cocktail recipes - will check those out tonight.
  2. Not had this particular wine but there is a long long tradition of blending Madeira at home. In the 17 c on the eastern seaboard of USA Madeira was the wine of choice (being fortified and fully oxidized it was indestructible and therefore travelled and kept well). There were Madeira clubs in many cities and the members kept extensive collections of various Madeiras. They routinely created their own blends designed to suit their individual palates. So, no reason you couldn't find a nice dry Sercial with its typical fierce acidity and use that to take your Justino's down to a level of a Boal that would suit you. I would try it first with a fractional amount, keep notes and once you find a blend you like you could do the whole bottle. If you can't get a nice blend in your trials then quit rather than waste a good bottle of Sercial and use the Rich in a sauce for beef or something.
  3. Tonight was also pacific halibut carved in front of our eyes from the intact fish (okay so I am in landlocked Calgary Canada)<br />Crusted with lemon zest , salt, fresh ground pepper,fleur de sel and a hint of garlic then seared for 2 min in oil flipped and 7 min in 425 oven.<br />With first fresh local asparagus and smashed potatoes <br />Succulent moist. SPRING!!<br />
  4. Friends are in CR at the moment. Haven't talked about the food except to say that the fresh fruit was wonderful and cheap!<br />Good weather too.
  5. One of or local fishmongers has had a fresh, whole octopus in their showcase every weekend. Arranged artistically on the bed of ice in the cooler. (Not the same one -they assure me !! ) They seem to sell one a week. While I like eating octopus the reality of dealing with the whole critter intimidates me. Any tips should I be brave? Best octopus I have ever eaten was in Mexico, Guaymas, middle Baja. Either a whole or half octopus (cut up) depending on the size, marinated in adobo I think and then grilled over charcoal - lovely almost burned edges. Fork tender (probably frozen then thawed and cooked unless someone spent an hour beating them on the pavement). Served with peppers and grilled onions.
  6. Don't know where you would buy it but also, I believe called salep or salepi, sahlep, dahlepi, salop,sahlap so that might help you find it in middle eastern stores Apparently available as dried and/or powdered. Used in Greek ice cream called kaimaki Several references on chowhound Have fun looking Llyn
  7. Yeah, I forgot about l'Express - classic Montreal bistro. Their marrow bones were wonderful! Another bagel place that is good is Fairmount Bagels. Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  8. I like making small risotto cakes (you can make one without cheese in it) and without large chunky ingredients. I use a falafel maker/former but a portioning scoop works fine to or a spoon. I make the cakes about an inch or inch and 1/4 diameter and less than half inch thick. Usually I coat them in panko and then freeze on a cookie sheet. Bake from frozen until browned and getting crispy. Are nice with a small dollop of chutney or something on top too. Other nibble I like is a bit more last minute prep but tasty. Take medium size fresh sage leaves and put a piece of oil-preserved anchovy on half of the leaves (fit the anchovy to the leaf size and i usually mash it down a bit with a fork). Then put another leaf on top of the anchovy (a sandwich). Then dip in beaten egg and then in (preferably) self-rising or 'instant' flour. Then fry them in a little bit of olive oil, til crispy (turn over once). Serve warm - great with Sherry in particular but would be good with Champagne or other sparker too.
  9. Jean-Talon is a must, if you have time Marche Atwater is nice too. Near J.Talon we had a very nice meal at Kitchen Gallerie, 'market' cuisine, the chefs are also the waiters and sommeliers. Entertaining. They have another location, in old Montreal called Kitchen Gallerie Poisson but a Montrealer friend who went with us to the J. Talon area one went to the fish-centric place and was not as impressed. Joe Beef or one of its relatives is probably worth going to as well. We didn't have time when there last fall but hope to get back sooner than later. Rather more expensive is Europea but we had a superb lunch there.
  10. Be careful if using the cheap Chinese pine nuts in case they are the variety that temporarily screws up your ability to taste properly. You can find info on the web to describe how to identify the different types. --- I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?vtcm10
  11. Try mini Toad in the Hole as a starter for a dinner. Use brioche either square or cut out rounds and use a little circle cutter to cut out the centre. Toast lightly (or sauté in butter in one side) then crack egg into the hole and fry. Serve with crispy fried proscuitto. Maybe fried cherry tomato too. --- I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?ucsmmk
  12. Hi Andie, sorry for my weird post, not intended to be rude. It is just that you keep finding cool toys/tools and I have very little willpower to resist new stuff, being a collector by nature. Trying to control the impulses though I really enjoy your posts and all the ideas that you share here.
  13. Andie thank goodness my new fridge is non magnetic. You have already cost me enough money after I bought the flour mill a few weeks ago after your recommendation !!! (it is great of course) I thought I was into culinary toys/tools but you absolutely have me and most of eGullet beat 10 to 1!!! But no no no I am ABSOLUTELY NOT going to buy another new fridge just do I can have a virtual wine cellar in my kitchen. No no no !! --- I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?wy4co2
  14. Chris Hennes just posted in the Morels thread: "I played around today with a "new" way of extracting the flavor from the morels, borrowing from a Modernist Cuisine technique for infusing cream: I took four big morels, washed and chopped, and added them to about a half cup of cream and vacuum sealed it. I infused that sous vide at 185°F for 4 hours, and then used that as the cream for making a pasta sauce today. It was really effective, it amped up the morel flavor incredibly." Such a great idea, of course gleaned from MC but a brilliant application. My problem is the aging brain cells. Don't have a need for that technique right now but it will be very useful at SOME point in the future. Do any of you have any tricks, methods, smartphone apps or any other technique for storing, sorting and ultimate retrieval of miscellaneous bits of information like this? EatYourBooks has come to the rescue for my cookbook collection now buyt don't know what to do with this sort of info.
  15. It will be another month or three before we get fresh morels, sadly! But my favourite thing to do with them is: Take largish specimens (maybe 2 inch long, sans stem). Cut the stem off so you can have good access to the hollow centre. Stuff with small pieces of pate de foie gras (canned works fine). Plug the hole with some breadcrumbs mixed with a bit of egg so that the foie will stay in when it gets cooked. Melt butter in a saute pan and cook the stuffed morels for a few minutes (maybe 10 or so) until they are starting to get tender and smell good. I usually start of standing them vertically on their bottoms to cook the breadcrumb plug first. Once the morels look cooked, add a bit of cognac to the pan and ignite to deglaze and finally finish with a bit of heavy cream and some veal glace if you have it (I usually keep a jar of that on hand that I buy from a local shop. Simmer for another two or three minutes to meld the flavours and serve. Fresh thyme is a nice garnish and a bit of fleur de sel and fresh ground pepper. They are good served on toast or at least with some nice bread to soak up the sauce. Decadent and rich... but as a first course of 3-5 morels per person it isn't too bad - though I am happy to eat more than that if I had the chance. The recipe is my version of Antonio Carluccio's favourite morel dish in his mushroom cookbook. Can't wait for the first morels of the season edited - forgot to ignite the cognac.
  16. Probably too late now for your ribs for dinner but yes, they were cooked through, medium rare. They were not very fatty but what little there was rendered off on the BBQ. They were not 'falling off the bone' tender but certainly not tough. If I did again I might give them another couple or three hours. My iPhone Sous Vide app said 8-12 hours at 55C for medium rare and 8-12 hours at 60 for medium and 12-24 H at 68.3 for 'well done/traditional. I also wanted them for dinner and started them at 55 and then after a couple of hours bumped it up to 60 for the duration. They came straight out of the fridge. As I said, next time I would give them another hour or three. Can't imagine what would be left at 24 hours at 68 though. I did find other time/temp recommendations in pretty much every source that I checked though. Doesn't seem to be a consensus.
  17. I cooked some 'meaty' baby back ribs yesterday. 9 hours at 60 C, just salt pepper and a pinch of garlic powder. Then a light slather of BBQ sauce and a few minutes on a hot BBQ. Nice and tender, juicy and just slightly pink rather than grey. These were not very fatty however. Smoking would have been nice but don't have a smoker.
  18. How bout a Thermomix? Certainly it is MUCH more expensive but it does a lot more stuff. The dough kneading function works really well too. There is a huge Australian Thermomix user group (forumthermomix.com) that will give you a lot of info about this machine. We use ours nearly every day, literally from soup (purees that are smooth as silk) to nuts (homemade nut butters). Great risotto... You can get a demo from a Thermomix representative and see for yourself.
  19. I make a coconut crust (usually for a lime cheesecake but it should work for other pies). Shredded sweetened thread coconut butter Mix and press into the pie pan and bake til light golden. I think I have used unsweetened coconut too but added a bit of sugar which helped bind. There are several variations on the web if you search.
  20. Just returned from a week there. Perennial favourite is Cafe Poca Cosa. I had a great meal at The Dish which is inside a wine shop called Rumrunner. You can also buy wine off the shelf and pay modest corkage. Janos Wilder has Downtown Kitchen - casual but good. Happy hour was a good deal too. Still hear good things about his flagship resto at the Westin La Paloma and casual J-Bar there. Was pleased and surprised to have good food at the resto in the lobby of the gently decaying Hotel Congress right downtown. Attentive service too. Central American food at hole in the wall Maya Quetzal on 4 Ave . Locals recommended The Hub but didn't get to try. All of these meals were during the annual gem fair when all the restos are double and triple booked and they still kept quality. Should be even better when the crowds are not so crazy.
  21. Patrick, when I was in NYC two or 3 years ago I found a really good selection of sherry at PJ Wines in Harlem (4898 Broadway, New York, NY 10034) and last summer visited Tinto Fino (85 1st Ave # A 10003-2937)who have a great selection as well (very good Spanish table wine from small producers too - check out the wines of Basilio Izquierdo - fantastic!) Canada, on the other hand, basically only has Gonzallez Byaz and Alvear though not bad wines there are many better. To that end a friend and I are starting a company to import sherry to our local market - including two wines that Decanter voted best fortified wines of the world! (hopefully give us a good reason for 'research' trips to Andalusia! Llyn
  22. Yup, it isn't much to do with the age of harvesting or maturity but all about the species of truffle. They are not all created equal. There are quite a few species of truffle but only a few of them have good flavour and culinary qualities. We can get summer truffles occasionally and while they are tasty (actually it is mostly about smell rather than 'taste') they don't come close to the intensity and flavour of the 'true' black perigord species and a completely different animal to the white Alba-type truffle. The only fresh black ones I have had were not impressive but they had suffered from over-long storage by the time I saw them. (but tried them anyway). When we visited Alba in Piemonte a few years ago, during the truffle festival it was an eye (and nose) opening experience. It really was possible to distinguish a difference in the quality of different truffles (of the same species) that I now guess is to do with maturity and storage time. There is a farm on Vancouver Island: Duckett Truffieres that apparently has been harvesting since 2007 but I can't see where they sell them (or how one buys them) but they do sell innoculated trees so we can all buy them and start our own truffiere!!!
  23. Glad you got dinner! Maybe you can come back to Tucson for a master class and get to Poca Cosa and other spots. J-bar looks great. I haven't eaten at any of Janos Wilder's places since he closed his first place in the Bario years ago. I still have fond memories of my first meals there. A brilliant chef with elegant and creative interpretations of SW food. Will have to go out to La Paloma in February.
  24. There are some very good restaurants in Tucson. On our annual February visit we always go at least once to Cafe Poca Cosa. And always order the chef's choice Plato - a generous selection of three items from the daily menu. Mexican with a contemporary twist. Highly recommended. The Dish is good too. Shares space with a good wine and liquor store called the Rumrunner and you can buy wine at retail and drink it in the restaurant with low corkage. Plaza Liquor is another well stocked shop. In the university area the Time Market has an interesting selection of condiments, chocolate,salsas and other ingredients as well as pizza and other prepared food. With 6 inches of snow on the ground here in Calgary I can't wait til the end of January when we are headed south too!!
  25. lstrelau

    Aging rose wine

    Another rose made for aging is from Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Spain. They make a Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rose that is not even released til it is several years old. The current vintage is 2000 and I just gifted my last bottle of 1993 to a friend's daughter on her 18th birthday. As noted above, these are special case rose wines, pale salmon in colour with a distinctive nose and palate - not the fresh fruity young wines that are refreshing patio drinks but much more complicated and fascinating. It has been gratifiying to see, at least in our local market here in Calgary, Canada, that rose wines have 'arrived'. When I organized a summer garden party rose wine tasting about 6 years ago nearly all the rose wines available in the local shops were 2-3 years old (and most of them showing their age). When I did another one a couple of years ago there were a plethora of young, fresh, vital roses out there from pretty every wine producing area/country. They are a very versatile food wine - from delicate sparklers like pink prosecco to full bodied cabernet sauvignon or syrah based wines with enough body to go with a BBQ steak. But, in general, as already noted, younger is better.
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