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Everything posted by bjcohan

  1. Thanks, everyone. I still haven't solved this, but I'm trying some of your suggestions, and I will post over in home made ice cream 2013 as well. I'm also beginning to track which flavors are afflicted. So far, it happens most often with my horchata, mamey con coco, kiwi vanilla, mojito, mole con naranja and cactus pear. It never seems to happen with blueberry-vanilla, mango-habanero, strawberry-habanero, raspberry, coconut-lime, blood orange, pomegranate, or chocolate. My gelati have no problems at all. I don't use alcohol in my sorbets, at least not these. I'll let you all know if I find a solution (or even just a cause!). Barb
  2. I make lots of sorbets. I use a simple syrup base and a refractometer to ensure proper levels of sugar. Lately, I've run into a problem that has me flummoxed. Occasionally, my sorbets develop a rock-hard sugar crust in the freezer. It sometimes starts as round areas, other times in long narrow streaks. These then have to pried off to get to the sorbet beneath. The problem seems unrelated to batches of simple syrup or to the time they've sat in the freezer. My batches of sorbets are small and they don't sit long. I have wondered if they might be caused when my staff dips the scoop in water before scooping, but if tat were the cause the problem would be more widespread than it is. Have you encountered this problem or, better yet, solved it? Barb
  3. Several years ago, when my husband worked in a restaurant that served brunch, he made eggs this way but used a portobello mushroom cap instead of bread, then served it over spinach or over a sauteed tomato-onion-jalapeno mix, topped with any one of a number of sauces. It was divine!
  4. That's great. I wish I had thought of that when I did our menus. Instead, I prefaced the warning with "Required by the Food Police:..." If I have room, I might get snarkier when I redo them. Barb
  5. I use a high quality vanilla paste much more than any extract. I love the rich flavor it gives to all kinds of dishes both sweet and savory. I buy all of my vanilla beans and paste from the Arizona Vanilla Company (Arizona Vanilla website). Their prices are reasonable and their quality superb. I put in a large order today and am going to try making my own extract when my beans arrive. Thanks for the link! FWIW, I know that many serious cooks favor the Nielsen-Massey, but it failed miserably in a side-by-side comparison with the stuff I've been using. You can read about on my blog, here: Vanilla paste comparison (I have no connection whatsoever with Arizona Vanilla. I just love their products.) Barb
  6. I've been to Yangming once. DH and I adored it. Unfortunately, we have too little free time these days and it's pretty inconvenient for us to get there. If it was closer, it would likely be my go-to place. We ate there when they had a visiting chef from Sichuan and my DH kept laughing at all the happy-noises I made throughout the meal. I can't wait to go back. I highly recommend it! Barb
  7. Mexican (real Mexican, not Americanized) is first, followed closely by Thai, southeast Asian, real Chinese, Cuban, Indian. Pretty much anything but bland American food. Not particularly fond of French bistro food or game. Barb
  8. THANK YOU!!! I was wondering if there was a way I could get EatYourBooks and LibraryThing to communicate! This is outstanding! (I guess now I have to find time to get a few hundred more cookbooks into my LibraryThing database... sigh) Barb
  9. Holly, it's required in Philadelphia. Health Department just told me so. :-(
  10. Hey, Katie! We're almost there! Paloma will open on Thursday, July 15. Dinner only, Tu/Wed/Thu/Sun 5-10, Fri/Sat 5-11, closed Mondays. We're BYOB for now, but will probably haul our liquor license out of safekeeping some time around Labor Day or so. You can't miss us - look for the tiny little sign (@#$% sign company screwed it up and is working on getting us one that is the right size...) OpenTable won't be up and running until next week, and neither will our website. (Don't ask...) At least we have our FB page - www.facebook.com/palomarestaurant. In the meantime, we're doing reservations the old fashioned way. 763 South 8th Street, corner of 8th and Fulton. 215-928-9500 See ya there! Barb
  11. Get a copy of a good Puerto Rican cookbook and make your own! Cocina Criolla (English version is called Puerto Rican Cookery) by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli is excellent. I bought it on my first trip to PR because I fell in love with the food. Cocina Criolla is a gem, and there are many more good ones out there. ¡Buen provecho! Barb
  12. If they're serving Beso de Angel, then that must be Tepoztnieves! I had their ice creams in Tepoztlan where the chain started. Glorious flavors. If I can find their complete list, I'll post it here. It's quite extraordinary! I make all the sorbets for our restaurant and love to play with my food, so we've had (all English translations here): Mamey with coconut Mango habanero (incendiary!) Orange chipotle Orange mole Cafe de olla (Coffee with unrefined brown sugar and cinnamon) Flor de jamaica (hibiscus) Cilantro Mojito (mint and rum) Horchata Tequila lime Jalapeno Chocolate egg cream (made with real seltzer and chocolate U-Bet) Sweet potato pie sorbet (served layered with whipped cream) There's more, but it's late and I'm fried... Barb
  13. Just a quick update. If the licensing folks are cooperative, Paloma should reopen in about two weeks. Hiring has commenced, so if you know any good cooks/servers, pass the word! Barb
  14. Thanks, Katie! We've wanted to get off the rapidly declining Castor Avenue for a long long time. We closed Paloma around Labor Day so we could devote our full efforts to caring for my mom during her final illness. She passed away at the end of September and we've been busy with closing out her apartment and trying to settle her estate. Adan has been doing private parties during the hiatus. Now it's time to get back to doing what we love. I'm getting my sorbet machines tuned up so they'll be ready to go. We've put our liquor license into safekeeping for now and will run initially as a BYOB. Dinner first, then later we'll add brunch and lunch. We're shooting for an early June opening, maybe sooner. I'm working on a new website already. BTW, we're shopping for kitchen equipment and furniture, so if you know anybody who's selling, have them get in touch! My email is barb AT cohan DOT com. It'll be great to see you. I've missed you guys! Barb
  15. Holly,wasn't that Le Fournil on Walnut near 7th? I loved that place, so long ago. Barb
  16. Today I checked the website for Larousse México and there is still no sign of Chef Muñoz's book. They do, however, have the Larousse book of Salsas, authored by Chef Muñoz. It's 96 pages and the site says it is available only in México.
  17. There's a delightful new restaurant that opened in Willow Grove in January called La Fusion Cafe. I don't care for their name, but I love their food. I've been there half a dozen times already, for both lunch and dinner, and I haven't had anything that wasn't spot-on wonderful. Even my picky chef husband loves it. La Fusion Café 3 Easton Road Willow Grove, PA 19090 tel 215.657.2428 www.lafusionrestaurant.com No photos yet, but I will try to bring my camera the next time I go. (My phone takes abysmal photos.) Their sushi is fresh and delicious. I am particularly fond of their sake (salmon) and hamachi (yellowtail). I don't care for rolls and so haven't tried those. The crispy duck dinner entrée with Chambord glaze ($21) was, on two occasions, among the best I've ever had. The skin was crunchy crisp and the meat moist, tender and perfect. The crab cake special ($32) last Sunday produced two lovely crab cakes full of big lumps of crabmeat and topped with a wasabi glaze. My mom and DH have had the shrimp pad thai ($11 lunch entrée, $18 dinner entrée), Thai fried rice with chicken and shrimp ($13 at lunch), the soft-shell crab dinner entrée special ($29), and the grilled steak in pineapple teriyaki sauce ($24 at dinner). They were quite happy with everything. All entrées come with perfectly cooked fresh veggies and are beautifully presented. The owner, Yenh, is a lovely young woman who is a recent graduate of the Restaurant School. She is gracious and accommodating and has put her heart and soul into this place. I've recently developed a couple of sorbet recipes for her - Thai iced coffee and Thai iced tea - that she will be making soon. (We have no business relationship. I am just a very happy customer and am trying to help her out.) They are located in a former tire store (it's pretty now!) directly across from Barnes and Noble. The best way to get to their small parking lot is to turn right onto Davisville Road from York Road right after Easton and York split (coming from the direction of the turnpike). When you get to the end of the block right before the traffic light, turn right into the lot. The windows at the front of the restaurant face the Olive Garden and it pains me to see people lined up to eat that crap while a small independent place serving wonderful food is so underpatronized. It seems that word is getting out, though, and each time we go there are more and more people eating there. They take Visa and Mastercard. Barb
  18. I GOT MY BOOKS! My books arrived from México yesterday! I'm not sure whether I will sell the other copy or just keep it in our restaurant to help me explain to our customers some of the unfamiliar ingredients my DH puts into savory dishes and I put into desserts. OMG, what a treasure!!! It cost quite a bit, but I must say it was worth every penny. As soon as I opened it, I learned to stop discarding the seed of the mamey. I never knew those gorgeous seeds were called pixtle or that they could be used in other dishes! I cannot wait to read it, cover to cover! I searched for this for more than a year, and it was worth the wait! Now I will look forward to the next edition with all those extra pages! Barb
  19. That's really exciting news! Do I have lousy timing or what? I read your post just after I wired a bunch of money to the D.F. for my book, after searching all over Mexico for months. Ah, well. I'll keep it in pristine condition and either sell it or give it to someone as a gift once the new edition becomes available. <sigh> Barb
  20. Oh, happy, happy, happy day!!!! My brother-in-law called from Mexico City to tell me that he has found me a copy of the Diccionario!!!!! It seems that my nephew, a budding chef in the D.F., has a friend who has a friend who knows someone... you know how it goes. In any event, this chamaco had THREE copies and was willing to part with one, and my nephew grabbed it for me! Tomorrow, he will see if he can get the guy to part with another. If I can snag more than one I will let you guys know. On my DH's last trip home, he did manage to get me 7 or 8 of the serialized segments and a box in which to store them. Those are also glorious and did much to whet my appetite for the whole book. They are simply gorgeous. FWIW, I still haven't heard a peep out of libroslatinos.com... Barb
  21. I got mine through them but it took about 9 months. They're great people and very helpful. I'm sure they've been bombarded with queries since La Laudan wrote it up in Saveur magazine. I'd call and ask what they think. I don't want to be discouraging but I scour the food sections of bookstores as an obsession in DF, Guadalajara, Puebla, Guanajuato and more and I've never seen it. But I've noticed a slew of previously OP books available all of a sudden, as if a storage vault were let free. So who knows? I thought I heard the revised version is coming out really soon. ← ¡Ojalá! I'll be in México on Saturday. Hopefully I'll return with good news. Barb
  22. How wonderful that you found a copy of this incredible book. When I was at the FIL (International Book Fair) in Guadalajara in November, the publisher was out of copies. Let's hope the new edition comes out soon, and let's hope that there's also an English translation for those who need that. God willing I will see Ricardo Muñoz in a couple of weeks and will talk with him about the new edition. Watch for news here... In the meantime, you might like to have a look at Mexico Cooks! The current article is about Alicia Gironella and Giorgio de'Angeli, the extraordinary old guard of Mexico's cuisines. ← ¡Ay, Esperanza! I hope that, in your talks with Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, you learn that a new edition is coming out soon. Although libroslatinos.com took my order and still have the book on their site, they have sent nothing, have not charged my credit card, and will not respond to emailed messages. So I suppose my celebration was rather premature. I will be in México in April and will be scouring bookstores there for any remaining copies. Looking forward to news.... Barb
  23. bjcohan

    Isla Mujeres

    ¡Gracias! Holly, this was a beautifully timed post. My DH and I will be in the area in April, and I've already put your list into my Treo! Hopefully, I'll be able to add to your recommendations. You made me hungry! Barb
  24. For just sausage casings, you can get them at pretty much any of the butchers specializing in pork in the Italian market and maybe even in your own neighborhood. In a pinch, I've even bought fairly decent ones, frozen in a container, at ShopRite! Mmmm... this has put me in the mood for homemade chorizo. Barb
  25. Try www.sausagesource.com. They sell all manner of sausagemaking supplies. Good luck! Barb
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