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Everything posted by AndrewM

  1. I'm going to disagree about the Raichlen books. I have Schlesinger's books and agree they're excellent. Raichlen's Barbecue Bible has a lot of information in it though, lots of techniques, and a huge number of recipes from around the world. I like the more international bent of the BBQ Bible when I feel like cooking something West Indian or whatever. Lots of marinade and rub recipes as well. I do find he usually uses too much salt for my taste. And it's more about grilling than smoking. I'd get books by both authors. You can't have just one BBQ book.
  2. Weird, I saw the Barry Lazar book in stores around Xmas and the Chapters website says it was published in April 2003. I think it is the Flavourguy book though, as Carswell says, not the older and as far as I know out of print Guide to Ethnic Montreal.
  3. You might want to check out Barry Lazar's Taste of Montreal, a book that purports to list (I haven't got it) sources for ethnic food in Montreal. It's cheap enough. The webpage says it's not yet published but it is. For Indian, there are places on Jean Talon west of Ave. du Parc that would fit the bill. Although I think this is where a Pakistani sweets seller was shot the other day. There are also Middle Eastern places, halal butchers in this neighbourhood. There's a good Thai grocery supply at the corner of Jean Talon and St. Denis called Thai something or something Thai (!) Across the street, a Vietnamese place. The place in La Cité that gus_tatory mentions also has some Chinese and Thai stuff. Atwater Market has Les Douceurs du Marché for ethnic goodies as well. Good thread!
  4. Hi Marian and thanks for doing this Q&A. You mentioned in an earlier response about food writing that you thought it would be good if there were more stories about food quality, safety and production (I'm paraphrasing). There's been a lot of depressing news in the past little while, whether it's mad cow, PCBs in fish, now the bird flu. Then you have agri-business, whether it's battery chickens, the environmental impact of some fish farms, or factory pig farms - here in Canada, for instance, huge pig farms are posing a real problem in several communities. We haven't even brought up genetically modified food yet. Or the demise of the small farmer, being replaced by giant corporate food machines. While the organic and slow food movements have a bit more visibility in the past while, I suspect it's largely among foodies who want top quality and back-to-nature types, together still a tiny portion of the general population, which keeps growing and increasing the demand for cheap food of whatever quality. At times, it can also be difficult for the average consumer to separate fact from media scare. What do you see as the real problems in food safety and food production, and do you see things getting better (e.g., the growing popularity of CSAs and buying local ingredients, organic sections in some supermarkets), or getting worse?
  5. I've made the Mock Porchetta with great success. Also a number of the salads...
  6. AndrewM

    Beef cubes

    Has anyone tried the Pam Anderson method for beef stew in the lastest issue of Fine Cooking in which the stew is cooked in a 450 degree oven for 1 hour 30 min? It goes against everything I've read and practised but I'm curious and will try it sometime. The diameter of the pot (no more than 11") and sealing it really well with tin foil over the stew and pot rim are apparently key. Re. tomato paste in a tube: Marlene, any place that specializes in Italian items is likely to have this. I find some have too much salt.
  7. Made the alternative "Shan State style" larb from Hot Sour Salty Sweet tonight, the laab moo tai yai. This is the HSSS larb made with roasted garlic, lemongrass, chiles, roasted sesame seeds, galangal (didn't have any, substituted some ginger), coriander, mint, shallots, and stir-fried ground pork instead of poached. Achieved total larbosity. The 12-year-old had three helpings (I'd doubled the recipe). Pride ensued...
  8. Carswell, Cheering you on in your search for the best confit. Have you tried that poultry place on Roy just east of St. Laurent? The name escapes me. Fernando or something? I believe they make confit. Will check the Quartiers Gourmands guide, which is where I think I saw the reference.
  9. Mongo - thanks for doing this. Very educational and delicious looking!
  10. Not a real answer for you: has anyone tried Boucherie France-Canada on Van Horne and de l'Epee? I haven't, but I noticed them listed in the Quartiers Gourmand guide and keep meaning to go try. The guide says they do more than 300 confits a week.
  11. Has anyone tried 1,000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra? Any thoughts on this one?
  12. There is a recipe in Camellia Panjabi's 50 Great Curries of India for "Meat (lamb) Cooked with Cardamom", which she calls Elaichi Gosht. It calls for 35 green cardamom pods to be ground and blended with water to make a paste. I've never tried the recipe, although her other recipes are usually very good. Also, I always toss in several pods when making scented basmati rice. edited to add I just read BBhasin's post more carefully and noticed the reference to Ilaichi Gosht...
  13. Got this one unexpectedly for Xmas and am in the middle of it. A very good collection, fun and informative. Some of the pieces you'll have read already if you follow the food publications. Best title is surely "Travels with Captain Bacon."
  14. A quick check of my book sources shows that French Provincial Cooking is in print with a new preface by Julia Child, and there are still some copies around through Amazon (and abebooks.com) of the handy collection Elizabeth David Classics, which consists of Mediterranean Food, French Country Cooking, and Summer Cooking together in one volume. Almost unbelievably, Amazon says that most of her books are actually still in print (for quite a while this was definitely not the case, and I'm not quite sure I do believe Amazon on this one). In Canada at least, I have seen French Provincial Cooking, Italian Food, and French Country Cooking in paperback from Penguin in a bookstore within the past week.
  15. I wouldn't bother with Lester's. It's in the neighbourhood, so I'll go there on occasion when I need a smoked meat fix and don't want to travel. Not bad but really not in the same league as Schwartz's or the Main. Now, I do remember having a really good smoked meat from some place in the Atwater market. Can't remember the name as I rarely go to Atwater, usually Jean Talon. I've always meant to go back and see if that smoked meat was all a dream...
  16. AndrewM

    Pizza Stone

    Ah, brilliant. And the oven's due for a self-clean.
  17. AndrewM

    Pizza Stone

    So let's say you recklessly disregarded the less is more philosophy and got a little too enthusiastic with toppings, and Italian sausage meat, fat and juice escaped from your pizza and onto your pizza stone. Any good way of cleaning this? Any reason to worry about nasty old meat juices in the sort-of-porous stone? Hypothetically speaking...
  18. Bacon. Really good bacon. Artisanal bacon. Nice thick slices, real smoky flavour. My kingdom for some decent bacon. Maybe William J. Walter does it? Smoked ham hocks too. And real lard for carswell. 4.5 million pigs in the province. It's not too much to ask. I agree that the lack of creme fraiche, in a city with decidedly French tastes in food -- not only in restaurants but in cooking at home -- in a province that makes 300 types of cheese, is a complete mystery and annoying. Ditto cream. I see Creme d'Antan only occasionally. A decent variety of potatoes without having to go to Chez Louis. And potatoes that are stored properly and are not hideously green and riddled with solanine. It's amazing how many grocers fuck up their potatoes. Also agree on street food and can only surmise someone is on the take or being threatened with bodily harm. The decision by the city is incomprehensible. Real BBQ. Affordable pigeons: try Dominion Square. Did I mention bacon?
  19. AndrewM

    French fries

    Thanks Suzanne. This is what I was wondering, since the smoking point of olive oil (375?) is pretty close to the finishing temp of the fries (350). Grapeseed oil with its higher smoking point (485?) should be better to reuse given one doesn't approach this temp in the Robuchon recipe, no? Looking forward to the potato course, jackal10. Despite my love of potatoes, I often look at them and think "what will I do with you now..."
  20. AndrewM

    French fries

    I made steak frites tonight using the Joel Robuchon method for fries reported in Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything. This was prompted by watching a local French cooking show ("Ciel! mon Pinard", in Montreal) in which host Daniel Pinard demonstrated the Robuchon/Steingarten method for easy frites at home using olive oil. Steingarten's/Robuchon's version uses peanut oil. I hadn't got this far in Steingarten's book, which I'm just reading now. I probably wouldn't have tried it if I hadn't watched the process on TV and seen the results. It works quite nicely. Not the ultimate el perfecto frite done by truly caring spud masters, but better than many of the frites I've tried in Montreal restaurants when ordering steak frites. The result was not greasy, quite crisp, nicely cooked inside and despite the fact I used olive oil it didn't taste of it. It's an odd technique: cut the potatoes into 3/8 inch fries. Place in high-sided 10 inch pot. Pour in just enough room temperature oil to cover. Turn the heat to high and by the time the oil get to 350 degrees the fries are done. Don't let the oil get above 370. Remove and drain. Sprinkle with coarse salt. I used fleur de sel. Yummy. Any reason not to reuse the oil I cooked with? May try this with grapeseed oil as well. andrew
  21. I picked it up at Latina on St Viateur yesterday. It's $5.75 I believe, on the butcher's counter. Haven't examined it carefully yet, but it looks nice.
  22. I'm rather suspicious of the whole 30-minute meal concept. Not because of some dedication to slow food -- believe me, there's nothing I'd like better than to be done in 30 minutes during the week. But I find very few complete dinners can be done in this short a time starting from scratch. Part of this may be that I'm cooking regularly for four. Even washing and chopping vegetables for a stir-fry for four instead of 1 or 2 adds time for me, and while I don't have the knife skills of a pro, I'm not a complete plodder. You can adulterate a jarred pasta sauce pretty quickly i suppose, and then there's various tricks with eggs (which I'm perfectly happy with for supper, but confronted with eggs for supper the kids are dumbfounded). Just making rice takes 25 minutes minimum. So a lot of the 30 minute meal concept seems to me to rely on cooking ahead or relying on some premade stuff to jazz up or some variation on a sandwich. Cooking times can be real quick but prep time is another story. When I want to cook a complete dinner really fast, I'm with Jinmyo: Steak. Cooks in minutes, deglaze and you're done. I can make a simple salad and dressing, do something with potatoes, and cook a steak real fast. Probably under 30 minutes given a completely clean kitchen to start with (in my house, not bloody likely). Change the steak to pork chops, veal chops, fish, the potatoes to rice, and we're still pretty close. Otherwise, I'm with FatGuy: bread and cheese.
  23. Hi Paula, Thanks for doing a Q&A! It's been two decades since The Cooking of South-West France appeared (a work of art, by the way!). In it you discuss methods for managing the healthful qualities of what is normally characterized as heavy, fatty food -- certainly not a cuisine someone on a diet would instinctively turn to anyway. From degreasing techniques to temperature control to selection of which fats and oils to use, you present a great case for managing the fat content of these dishes. Is there anything you would change or update in these techniques and fat selections today? Andrew (not on a diet, just curious)
  24. Yes, what I meant when I said not vegetarian was that I didn't want to make broccoli forests and the like, or require ways to get protein on the plate other than meat. Deborah Madison's books look excellent.
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