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Everything posted by Xanthippe

  1. Xanthippe


    As it is for game; the acid in the buttermilk tenderizes the leaner, tougher cuts of meat beautifully. I prepared an elk roast during the holidays. Bathed it in a juniper-berry-and-buttermilk marinade for at least three days, and the end result was delicious.
  2. While I don't claim to be anything other than a culinary non-professional with a relatively sophisticated and discerning palate, I have frequently enjoyed the dessert creations of Allyson Mansfield, the full-time pastry chef at Bistro Elan in Palo Alto, California. The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine featured Ms. Mansfield in an article several months ago in which she was described as a "pastry goddess;" this is the link to that write-up: Passionate About Pastry At Bistro Elan, the West Coast pastry chef dearth is nowhere in evidence -- or so my humble taste buds will attest!
  3. Xanthippe


    No need to be scared! I've been making my own creme fraiche for a number of years now; my experience tells me it's perfectly safe -- indeed, critical to the fermentation process -- to leave the mixture at room temperature. I use Rose Levy Beranbaum's "recipe" of 1 T. buttermilk to 1 cup heavy cream. Pour ingredients into a jar or plastic container, whisk the mixture together, place container in a warm part of the kitchen (mine goes on top of the fridge), and leave container ajar to help the culture grow. It's usually ready in about 24 hours, though I've left it as long as 36 hours with no problem. I love the stuff, especially as I don't have to pay an arm and a leg in order to enjoy it!
  4. Yep . . . Testimonials are certainly far from the realm of scientific research, but I can tell you that as much as I adore Mexican food, I consume particularly large quantities of same when the weather's hot. And yes, it does cause me to "glow" (horses sweat, men perspire, women glow ) to the point where I feel cooler.
  5. Xanthippe

    Smoked Corned Beef

    Hi, I'm Xanthippe, and I'm a Klink'ssmokedmeata-holic . . . This stuff is wicked, wicked good. Really, really, REALLY good. My first bite of the brisket "heel" was truly transporting. SIGH . . .
  6. As the character of the young Jewish man who "looks after" Peter O'Toole in the movie My Favorite Year sez: "There are two things Jews know how to do: suffer, and find good Chinese food."
  7. My bad -- and I know how its spelled, having made it for years and given countless pints away, neatly labled "Pamela's Laudable Lekvar." I plead a severe case of Mrs. Magoo brain ( ) due to seasonal allergies. Them &*$%?@#! acacias get me every single year!!
  8. If you're unable to find it, make your own. It's a snap, really, and the levkar is much tastier than most store-bought I've had.
  9. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, dear Elyse . . . (Be very, very glad you can't actually hear me sing! ) How did/will you celebrate??
  10. Much of the stuff for sale is also very, very shiny . . . Really quite appalling. Jinmyo would "gah" until she "gah-ed" out!
  11. Growing up, I watched my dear Southern mama do just that countless times over the years. Once the pan has dried out, that's the moment to apply the thin coat of oil. I'm lucky enough to have three of her cast-iron beauties, all of which perform flawlessly and remain perfectly seasoned. I treat em' just as she taught me.
  12. Xanthippe

    Hard Boiled Eggs

    MUST . . . MAKE . . . THIS . . . SANDWICH . . . *NOW*!! No kidding, and I just finished Lunch, Part 1 a mere hour ago! Think I'll put a thin slice of sweet onion (Walla Wallas, purchased Wednesday afternoon at my local Farmers' Market) on the cheese, being as it's not even close to dead-ripe tomato season. Eggs, eggs, eggs. Adore 'em. Soft boiled, medium boiled, poached, shirred, fried, scrambled, deviled, any old how. Also bought 1/2 dozen duck eggs at the FM; how pretty they are -- some pale green, some pale tan-fading-to-ivory. Don't believe I've ever had duck eggs; does one do anything different with/to them? Off to consume Lunch, Part 2.
  13. It *sounds* delicious!! Akin to the ubiquitous (albeit wonderful if done right) sausage roll, perhaps?? I must "go brik," and soon . . .
  14. Awbrig, our "house" balsamic vinegar has been Whole Foods' 365 Every Day Value since Cook's Illustrated conducted one of its blind tastings and judged it the winner in the $15-and-under category. No kidding, at $3.49 per 1-pint bottle (might be a tad bit more now), it's a screamin' deal. Nothing in it except aged Vinegar of Modena -- no artificial sweetener, no caramel coloring, nuthin'! I can't recommend it highly enough, however, I've not tried TJ's. Perhaps it's better, although I would doubt it. BTW: I *must* have lamb after drooling over your pix. We still have a bottle of the "really good stuff" for special occasions, of course . . .
  15. The younger of my two sisters gave me a great stocking stuffer several years back: A notepad, with the cartoon head of a seriously cranky-looking, wild-haired woman at the top, under which is the underlined heading "PMS Shopping List." The four items: - water pills - chocolate - potato chips - arsenic Brilliantly funny, although I might quibble with the order . . .
  16. Even better if the pretzels (pretzel nuggets, to be precise) are peanut butter-filled before being drenched in chocolate!! Usually, my nut of choice for pairing with chocolate is the filbert; when I'm experiencing hormonal "misalignment," only the peanut/peanut butter will do. I'm gonna make Maggie's PMS Carb Fury Antidote this very evening, but I'll scrub the spuds really well so I won't have to peel 'em -- too much work, and besides, think of the fiber!! And I might use creme fraiche rather than heavy cream. I'll see how I feel at that point. As for "Notorious," I'm in too delicate a state to go there tonight, but it's one of my favorites. That staircase scene. Gripping the edge of *anything* to ease the tension while I swoon over Cary Grant, the likes of whom we'll never, ever see again. SIGH . . .
  17. I've made that ethereal Braised Bacon twice in as many weeks! *Great* stuff . . . And not to veer off topic, but does The Zuni Cafe Cookbook rock or what??!?
  18. That's frightening. And yet... I wonder how Oreos coated with Nutella would taste? my hormonal imbalance cure: homemade chocolate chip cookies slathered with 1/2" of whipped cream I concur: The Cookie of Evil is indeed frightening. Oh, and I call tell you how Oreos taste coated with Nutella. In a word, Dionysian . . . The chocolate-chip-cookie-slathered-with-a-half-of-whipped-cream idea is inspired; I shall try it when next my hormones run amok.
  19. What brownie said -- those fudge-covered Oreos blow my skirt up every single time!! And when I'm in the grip of raging hormonal imbalances, I coat 'em with a thick layer of Twist 4 Kids' Peanut Butter and Chocolate spread. Around my house, this concoction is known as the Cookie of Evil.
  20. Ditto what Aurora said, Diane! And add Trader Joe's to the list of things guaranteed to make one feel better (see elsewhere in Forums for a great TJs thread). What was in your cart? Do tell, please . . .
  21. So does Zibibbo, Lulu's sister restaurant in Palo Alto. And those ethereal pan seared mussels get me most every time. Oh, and this is another restaurant that offers sand dabs on the menu. A great dish -- brought whole to the table and boned for you, served with a piquant Romesco Sauce in the Catalan style.
  22. Xanthippe: (love your alias!) Do not resist! Do it for an eGullet sister! Let me wallow vicariously! Maggie, you must *not* encourage me in the pursuit of this Evil Thing!! Sisterhood is indeed powerful, but so is saturated fat! And of course, my dear husband is none other than Socrates . . .
  23. Ah, now there's a thought, although I've not tried fish there. Another "destination" restaurant on the coast is Duarte's in Pescadero. Again, very casual venue with excellent food, including some dynamite seafood dishes. I'd go out on a limb and say their cioppino is just about the best around -- even better than Phil's.
  24. John Schwartz has a piece in today's NY Times About Frito Pie. (Glad I checked the search engine.) The description gave me a frisson that was almost erotic. I wish I had never heard of this dish. I want it sooooo bad! His recipe: "1) Take bag of Fritos. Slice lengthwise. 2)Pour in a cup of hot chili---he says Wolf Brand canned chili is esssential 3)Add cheese. Velveeta is fine. Add onions and jalapenos if you like 4)Eat it before it congeals" I cannot, in good conscience, ever prepare this. Not from the obvious health concerns. From the "maintain girlish figure" concerns. Maybe the amuse at my deathbed meal. Having just read the NY Times piece about the aforementioned Frito Pie, I must concur: a gastro-porn description if there ever was one!! And finding myself in a menacingly dangerous hormonal dither today, I'm *this* close to dashing into town for a can of chili (I have the other ingredients already, including both plain and the Flamin' Hot varieties of Fritos). YIKES!!!!! Lord, give me the strength to resist . . .
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