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Everything posted by ronfland

  1. My recipe is about the same - but made with butter. Red Velvet Cake 1c butter softened 3c sugar 6 large eggs 1½ - 2 oz red food coloring (depending on how red you want it) 3Tb cocoa powder 3c all purpose flour 1c buttermilk ½tsp vanilla extract dash of salt 1tsp baking soda dissolved in 1Tbsp white vinegar Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 8inch pans In mixing bowl cream 1c butter with sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix food coloring with cocoa and add to mixture. Add flour alternately with buttermilk. Add vanilla and salt. Mix baking soda with vinegar and gently stir into mixture. Do NOT overmix. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Frost with Cream Cheese icing.
  2. Red Velvet Cake 1 c butter softened 3 c sugar 6 large eggs 1-1/2 oz red food coloring (depending on how red you want it) 3 Tb cocoa powder 3 c all purpose flour 1 c buttermilk dash of salt 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 T white vinegar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 8inch pans In mixing bowl cream 1c butter with sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix food coloring with cocoa and add to mixture. Add flour alternately with buttermilk. Add vanilla and salt. Mix baking soda with vinegar and gently stir into mixture. Do NOT overmix. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Frost with Cream Cheese icing. Keywords: Dessert, Cake ( RG465 )
  3. ronfland

    Rose Water

    Rosewater goes beautifully with berries. Macerate some berries with it, then fold them into heavy cream and you have a dessert "fool" that's perfectly easy in summer.
  4. I have one of each - non-stick and regular non-shiny aluminum. If there is any difference in the height of the cakes - it is slight and you'd have to have to use a ruler to tell. Made an orange chiffon in the non-stick yesterday and it did just fine, was cooled over a bottle and didn't slip, exited brilliantly and clean-up was a snap. I won't swear that this is the norm, but I have no problems with mine.
  5. The bread basket at Cafe Boulud included a pumpkin seed bread that I thought was MAGNIFICENT. My vote is for pumpkin seeds! (It was a sourdough bread btw.)
  6. The illustration was great - more would be welcomed.
  7. Although I would qualify myself a raisin "non-hater', and have been known to cook with them, I found this piece HILARIOUS! I have friends who feel exactly this way - and actually are even more vehement about it. The hiding sultanas had me rolling on the floor - its one of my favorite tricks.
  8. Actually - How To Boil Water had a comic and a CIA chef with the personality of a dishrag and was one of FTV 's most resounding failures - I can't believe they're bringing it back.
  9. When I lived in Philly - I had the good fortune to dine at LBF and enjoyed the experience - with one exception, the pretentious service. Now this was quite a while ago - and things change. There is NO question, that you should make another phone call and speak to the house manager. No matter the length of the wine list - they can make any/every attempt to get it to you before your dining date, and at their prices (which they seemed to so like to quote) they SHOULD. If this is the gaffe of an in-experienced receptionist, the management should have the opportunity to use this instance to train her (and the sommelier apparently) properly. As a repeat customer you certainly are within your rights to quote this type of service as "unusual" as compared to your past experiences, if you feel that is the case. To my mind, you should get a wine list toute-suite, and the bottle of champagne you select for that birthday dinner should be comped by the house. Believe me, folks with money to BURN dine in that place every night, and would expect no less in light of that type of treatment. This smacks of the apocryphal (?) story of the sales clerk who responded to Madame's price inquiry with "If you have to ask, you can't afford it." Madame was of course and heiress, spoke to the manager and said salesclerk was fired instantly. There's some truth in there somewhere. If your requests are not adequately satisfied - skip a couple of blocks and go to Striped Bass - it was my favorite restaurant in Philly.
  10. Sorry about the fig comment - here in NY we often have imported figs in July decent enough to cook with. Then of course - there are dried ones.
  11. Maybe panzanella for the salad this year? (fun assembly for those who like to get their hands a little messy) Including figs and venison in the menu might be fun. Lamb too seems to be missing from your previous messages. Would it be too warm for a traditional soup, like wedding soup (escarole and white bean) or a beautiful chicken broth with crespelle (which might be fun for the attendees to make)? If so, I seem to remember some Italian fruit soups (in the north) - let me check.
  12. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Northern Italian food is so entirely different than what is generally considered "Italian" food it would be unrecognizable to those who grew up in Nonna's Napolitana or Siciliana kitchen. It is very difficult to find restaurants that specialize in Northern Italian food, and I feel the way Steve P does about the misunderstanding of Tuscan cuisine. Even the d'Abbruzzese, who represent a fair amount of Italian-American immigrants do not get a fair representation, in the home or in restaurants.
  13. Well - in short FG, everything you mentioned in your post is what they can't do, and that's what makes I-A home cooking what it is. I also agree with your assesment in an earlier post of the concentration on slow-cooked dishes which often only make their appearance in restaurants as "specials". I am not a professional chef/restranteur. like FG, I think that at my best I can achieve advanced-amateur status. I am willing to go out on a limb though, and guess that a real I-A restaurant would be a hard one to keep open, and for a number of reasons. The canon of real I-A dishes is a relatively small one, which makes menu variety a challenge. The addition of "trendy" ingredients is often antithetical to I-A (or even continental Italian) cooking, which further exacerbates the variety problem. Those who really appreciate this cuisine, to my mind, are NOT prone to eating it out, and when they do they don't want to pay a lot for it, so overhead issues arise. Short menus (which I-A restraunts should probably have to stay within the scope of the cuisine, and what most "chefs" can probably handle) reduce the "return customer" factor. I-A cuisine has always been problematic among "foodies" in that it can be accessible to the amateur cook, and is downgraded/denegrated out of the big four cuisines (French, Chinese, Indian and Thai). Of course, like the big four, the subtleties of I-A cuisine can be hard for the average diner to pin down. Plotnicki, in the otherwise frustrating "pasta is boring and not worth eating" thread points out that pasta execution is a VERY specific technique, and I agree. Perfect pasta, homemade or dried, seems elusive to most chefs (including Batali, who seems to murder a lot of macaroni on his show - although I have not eaten in his restaurants) and that difficulty seems to grow exponentially when facing 200 covers a night. As far as Mr. Camp's "over-garlicked, over-sauced, over-portioned" comment - I think that is just the mis-guidance of any particular chef/restaurant - just as it can be of any nonna. The notion that all Italian grandmothers can cook is as patently false as the statement "pasta is boring and not worth eating". Nothing is sadder than a little old Italian lady who "thinks" she can cook standing proudly over her miserable gravy (yes, I adopted gravy after living in Philly). I'm sure one of you e-gulleteers can straigten me out on this - I seem to remember a story of a restraunteur who hired four Italian nonnas to cook for his restaurant which would serve only the most "authentic" Italian food. If I remember the story correctly, the restaurant was called "Mamma's" and although their food was good, faced with 150-200 covers a night, they shattered under the pressure and fatigue and quit. Is this apocrypha or fact?
  14. Well - I can add 58 more since I just acquired the complete Foods of the World Series with the accompanyng spiral bounds courtesy of e-bay - ya gotta love that place.
  15. So true Jonathan. Not only often unreasonable financially, its HARD work. Those chefs who can parlay a modicum of real restaurant success into book, tv and teaching deals well deserve any bit of fiscal/social success they can get from it imho.
  16. Ok - I'll bite, after all her achievements in the culinary field, who does she have to blow to get the title? Most people who call themselves chefs are just cooks anyway.
  17. I should have been clearer - I was taking Julia Child as a given; of course she is the doyenne of celebrity chef. I was trying to deal with the current generation of Mario/Emeril counterpart potentials.
  18. I can assure you, that in French, there is never a fish anywhere near LBF. For lack of IPA symbols here - I will tell you that the word is pronounced more closely to the english word "fan" without a final n. It is the nazalized version of the vowel in the word "that".
  19. It could just be me, and far be if for me to disagree with the others, but I think the description is LUSCIOUS sounding just as it is. Is this description written of delivered by the server? I think it might be the delivery if that's the case.
  20. The lack of a real "celebrity" lady chef has mystified me as well. Call me naive, but I thought the concept of "well, some women can cook, but few are chefs" went out the window with Alice Waters, Lidia Bastianich and some others. If that is indeed the case, then the fault must lie with the marketers. Think about it for a sec: Nigella Lawson - has all the right stuff in as far as looks and charisma, but questionable culinary skill. Gale Gand - is arguably a fair baker, but has a hard time with the camera and is not particularly engaging. Rachel Ray - is great in the personality department, but has been ascribed an image that annoys many - I like her. Ina Garten - don't get me started, there are more than a few lady e-gulleteers who I am sure are better cooks than she is and probably could handle a cookbook and tv show more elegantly. Sara Moulton - who I adore, suffers an image that belies the high professional level of her attainments and relegates her to the aforementioned "housewife" category. Fenniger and Miliken - I loved those gals, and I think FTV really dropped the ball with their shows. They certainly had a better than fair balance of personality and culinary ability. Martha Stewart - the only one who is of "real" celebrity is of course self marketed, but I think many men find her aloof perfection off putting. In addition, she's got so many other things going for her besides cooking. Martha not withstanding (I am a shameless Martha fan), I am reminded of the tune "Ya gotta get a gimmick"; there's no real marketing tool here to propel these ladies to the status of a Mario or a Bobby Flay (emeril status might be unattainable for anyone - regardless of gender ). This is of course not a complete analysis, but a fair cross section of those who might be able to be "molded" into celebrity status. I wonder if that "sexism" of which you speak affects the marketers as well. Needless to say - none of the "Three Sopranos" efforts has been as successful as the boys either - but I think that's a different issue. I'm sorry if this veres too far off topic.
  21. Thank you to all who have participated in this thread thusfar for a very interesting discussion. I wish we could get a lot of the "commercial" chefs we talk about so frequently here on e-gullet to do Q&As - since I have a feeling we could learn so much more about them and their cooking than their onstage personas allow. Like in many other venues - the arts specifically - these on-air identies are often the creation of marketing executives and have precious little to do with the "real" identities of the stars. Many times in the midst of Emeril bashing around here, someone gently reminds us that "Emeril can really cook", and maybe Rachel Ray doesn't always use pre-washed, pre-packaged salad greens when she cooks for herself at home- maybe some of her meals do indeed take longer than 30 minutes. Sara Moulton may indeed get flustered at home when trying to juggle her career, husband, kids and a squid-ink risotto all at the same time. I'm equally convinced that Tyler Florence deals with MUCH better looking women in life than he gets to "gun" on his show and that Bobby Flay wants to slap his ridiculous co-hostess as much as the rest of us do. I personally think it would be SO interesting to see what "germs" of these chefs personalities are really in their on-air identities, and what proportion of those identites are created by the network. Also, I'd like to know how much influence the network has on content and the type of food these people produce on air. For instance - having eaten in both of Bobby Flay's restaurants in NY, it seems that the food he does on air is very similar to that which he cooks in his own establishments. It is my suspicion (in no way based in fact) that the "Kenneth Cole poster boy" image he has is very natural for him. But, maybe Emeril hates that band and is sick of crawfish in all forms. I'd love to talk to some of the marketing people too. There has got to be a point where they just give up, and let the cooking stand on its own. Batali has to be a case in point here. He doesn't look good and the camera is unkind to him, he not only butchers English - he MASSACRES Italian, he mumbles and he's sloppy. Yet he manages to turn out "some" authentic food and more than respectable ratings. Jack McDaniel was another of my favorite camera fugitives. Getting a real insight into these folks might put put an interesting spin on the commercialism discussion. I think any of us would don those Old-Navy shorts and ugly red clogs to make Mario's money - but there's so much more to it. What seems like "selling out" might have a real purpose lurking underneath. Rachel Ray may feel (as I do about her) that she is a stepping stone for people who find the kitchen unmanageable on a daily basis and is therefore content with the image that FTV has woven for her. I am reminded in this discussion of "The Three Tenors". Never were there three men who had to endure the cries of "Sellout!" more. Cognoscenti everywhere were raising their eyebrows and wagging their tongues as the 3T empire grew and sales climbed. Artistic sellout - maybe. But three guys found a way to cash in on their unquestioned talent that few will ever have the opportunity to do again, and in doing so brought the world of classical singing (if not the repertoire) to an audience who for any other reason may never have been exposed. Some marketing exec somewhere now currently owns Belize, and PBS stations stay afloat by selling the tapes and rerunning the broadcasts. A perfect world, maybe not but certainly a functional success. I wonder if this is how it is for Emeril. Oh if we could only have some of that personal contact with these guys that Jonathan Day has with his bucher (who I hope is recovering nicely).
  22. This is what I do when I make onion tarts in quantity as hors d'ouevres for parties. Works out very well.
  23. I have the Martha Stewart enamel-coated cast iron oval dutch oven - its FAB, practically identical to the Le Creuset, and a fraction of the price. Mine is the largest one (I don't know the volume) and was about $60US. I've had it for about three years now, and would throw out two of my all clad pots/pans to keep it if I had to.
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