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yvonne johnson

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  1. You've hit a raw nerve. A couple of months ago our meat thermometer broke down, and I've been doing a little too much guess work. Recipes for roast chicken no prob, as recipes are reliable in terms of timing. Hazan's especially. . But sauteed chicken. I have to cut into the meat to see. Thighs come out mangled! What some books say about just pricking with skewer to check that no red appears is not a good test for me. No blood appears but still semi-raw. What to do? Get a new meat thermometer I guess would be a start. Any tips appreciated.
  2. Bon: "but I don't eat Tomato raw. It's perfectly OK when it is cooked with heat." You and my other half (sorry, going on about my husband’s weird approach to salad and vegs a lot today. He should speak for himself. He has registered!) would get along. He cannot abide raw tom. Reasons why: 1. Texture of the seeds he finds horrid. 2. When in sandwiches toms make the bread soggy 3. There's not much taste to raw toms and what there is is unpleasant. There's a good reason why Italian tomatoes are cooked and put in cans, he says. However, he likes salsa made with just the tom flesh (no seeds). Go figure. Me…I happen to like raw toms. If they are good!
  3. More on dill Jeffrey Steingarten, in his “The man who ate everything” places dill on his phobia list. From McGee’s “On food and cooking”: dill has been used since BC, is in the carrot family (along with anise, caraway, fennel, and 2,996 other species) and has strong scented oils. I wonder if the feathery texture has something to do with reason for dislike too? I used to dislike dill, but over the last couple of years I’ve started to like it. And I can't say I worked at this. I like Route 11 dill chips and dill on salmon. I can't convert my husband though. He loathes the stuff. http://www.gardenguides.com/herbs/dill.htm above link says deer don’t like dill either!
  4. things that I don't like a lot of, but don't mind a touch of: marsala dill sherry fish sauce olives mushrooms (cooked). I could eat tons raw. I've always liked vinegar and mustard and cilantro but I have relatives who've hated them I do not like sherry, but I do like pickled herring. I don't know why I put them together, but they have have similar mouth-puckering effects. Yet I hate sherry and love vinegar.
  5. Churros (deep fried dough) from carts in Mexico City. Rodriquez formerly of Patria, now at Chicama NY has had chorros on the menu, but the ones I ate from carts in Mexico were much better as they were thinner, crispier and hotter. Ham and cheese crepe from a Paris street stand.
  6. Yes, Pat, I saw yesterday (but thanks for reminding me today) that Brain Young (formerly of Le Bernardin and Pop) is now at Citarella. At Pop he showed that he can do wondrous things with fish. I guess it's time to venture outside of the Village. I'll be going to Queens next!
  7. My better (actually worse--only joking) half is a superb cook and can replicate things from Portale’s and others' cookbooks. So yes, he can produce things at home that I'd get at, say, Gotham (NY). That does not apply to me. I still have trouble getting chicken just right. My view: I think agree with Fat Guy to an extent (what he said on original thread). I want to go out for the whole experience. No work. Just sit with friends. I'm not sure I've added anything to this... Maybe one point. Although the recipes in the chefs’ cookbooks are follow-able, they are not that straightforward a lot of the time and are labor intensive. I guess it comes down to how much time and energy (and as Tommy said, skill) you have to create the dishes. I prefer cookbooks written by cookery book writers than those written by chefs (maybe off topic). But, in my opinion, the recipes written by the former beat those written by chefs.
  8. yvonne johnson

    French fries

    Very interesting, Holly. I think I’ve been working intuitively. My fries are probably around the same size, but I cut them by hand, and if I’m using the plunge into hot oil (single or double) method, I test the temp of the oil by putting in one fry to see if it sizzles. Using a thermometer would be safer. Cooking times I do not have down pat. I go by color, tho I know some pots will not brown as much as others. I too go for Idaho. And I totally agree: shoestring fries are not fries. Whoever invented them needed their head examined! Quick question too. Plunging things into water or oil—are both considered blanching? This is an aside: Nigel Slater whom I much admire suggests par boiling pots before roasting and shaking the pan about when drained. They get beautifully flaky and come out terrifically crunchy when later roasted in goose fat. But roast pots probably deserve another thread. Final question on fries. Do you use a basket in the pan during the cooking process? Pros and cons? I haven’t in a few years and instead use a scoop (that I associate with Chinese cooking (very flat wired thing, ladle shaped)) to retrieve them when done. Jason, I've not used a wok for fries. I use my All-Clad pasta pan. It's deep. And you’re probably going to laugh and see me as a waster. I throw away oil after one use. Lard would be another matter. I’d use that again to fry my fries!
  9. Has anyone else tried making home made French fries as suggested by Jeffrey Steingarten in his book “The man who ate everything”? Basically, you just place the cut, dried pots in a big pan with deep sides. Cover pots with cold (yes, cold) oil and place on high burner. I’ve done so many times. They come out quite well, but have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan. His method is very easy though. Much better results are obtained using the double fry method, I think. Deep fry for a few minutes. Remove, let rest and cool (could be up to a few hours). Then deep fry a second time till golden Steingarten also outlines all sorts of advice on whether to wash pots after cutting (he says no) etc. He also says that there is no taste advantage in placing pots in iced water before frying or in blanching (in boiling water) before frying.
  10. Hello 861728 (this sounds like dialing long distance to Ireland or somewhere!). I appreciated many of your points. On one “Please, do not refer to another human being as a 'tron' it's insulting. If you wish to be gender neutral please use the term 'Server' “ I had a couple of thoughts. Holly Moore referred to "waitrons" and "dinetrons". I didn't read it as a pointed criticism of servers. An aside but related. This was a few years ago, but I read one of Marge Piercy's novels (“Woman on the edge of time”, i think) and she creatively suggested using "per" (short for person) rather than the longwinded, and ugly in my view, "he/she". In any case, I don't think it should be an "us" diners versus you "servers", so I hope you will keep posting.
  11. I’ve not been to Corner Bistro in a while, but over the last few years I estimate I’ve eaten there fifteen times. Their burger is as Fat-Guy describes: “I bit into it and a stream of fat and blood ran down onto the plate”. But I just love that juiciness. Only once have I been during the day, so the fluorescent cheese I’ve missed. And come to think of it, I don’t think seeing this place in daylight is to be recommended. As for McSorley’s (maybe their burger was mentioned on another thread): Ewww…the reek of this ale house puts me off beer. The idea of McSorley food is not appetizing at all. Now closed Rose Café’s (5th Ave around 9th) “5 napkin burger” was good before the restaurant went very downhill. Funny that, like every other in than spot. It might be jinxed.
  12. The other night we had a very pleasant New Zealand Riesling, Villa Maria, 2000. It had body, some floral hints and was much less sweet than some other rieslings I've tried e.g., Chateau Ste. Michelle 1998. Can't recall exact price, but it was not expensive.
  13. I'm in two minds about "table turning". Random thoughts: Presumably places need a couple, if not 3, sittings a night to make a living, no? Who wants to sit all night at a table? After the meal, coffees, maybe brandy are finished, I want out of there. I actually dislike lingering over nothing. If I've got a reservation, I want it at the specified time, and if the diners are finished then I think they should free the table. Of course, I don't want to be rushed just b/c the restaurant doesn't have its act together. If a rest. is pretty booked up, but I have the chance of a table till 9, say, which I'd have to vacate b/c of someone's earlier res. I think that's a reasonable offer. Contracts: Is it awful to be asked to sign a contract that says you will leave the table at X time? I don't know. If customers are treated well, that is, the result is that you get the table always at the time you reserve it for I think I'd go for it. This said I don't want the result to be "conveyer belt” dining.
  14. Let us know how Molly's is. I've heard people rave about this place. And I've yet to go to the Viceroy.
  15. This is fascinating stuff. I like the link too on your profile: hgworld.com I tasted kangaroo at the Sugar Club in London. Peter Gordon, New Zealander, is the chef. I chuckled when I read "Kangaroo meat isn't something you see a lot of at better restaurants. Not many people cook it at home. Tends to be most widely used as pet food." Do you think it becomes exotic overseas? Or do people in NZ eat differently than those in Australia?
  16. I found a cute nursery rhyme site that has Pop! goes the weasel. http://www.zelo.com/family/nursery/pop.htm Hadn’t thought of that rhyme in years. I'm wondering if it has a hidden meaning I'm missing. Cracked ice with lemon or lime. I’ll give that a go. I usually use big cubes of ice and put in lemon/lime at the end. Gordons, Booths, Beefeater are all fine I think. During the 1980s, Gordons did a very good tv and movie-house ad campaign in the UK. Like the Benson &Hedges ads, they were works of beauty (and no artsy person will convince me otherwise).. As for Bombay Sapphire, I like the look of it (lovely blue-tinge) and the smell of it, but I’ve noticed I get headachy (irrespective of amount drunk!). Something in it doesn’t seem to agree with me tho I like it at the time.
  17. I found a cute nursery rhyme site that has Pop! goes the weasel. http://www.zelo.com/family/nursery/pop.htm Hadn’t thought of that rhyme in years. I'm wondering if it has a hidden meaning I'm missing. Cracked ice with lemon or lime. I’ll give that a go. I usually use big cubes of ice and put in lemon/lime at the end. Gordons, Booths, Beefeater are all fine I think. During the 1980s, Gordons did a very good tv and movie-house ad campaign in the UK. Like the Benson &Hedges ads, they were works of beauty (and no artsy person will convince me otherwise).. As for Bombay Sapphire, I like the look of it (lovely blue-tinge) and the smell of it, but I’ve noticed I get headachy (irrespective of amount drunk!). Something in it doesn’t seem to agree with me tho I like it at the time.
  18. Sauntering down the aisles in Union Square Wines and Spirits yesterday I spotted a handsome bottle that looked like it had come from a hundred year old pharmacy. Hendrick’s Gin. This claims to be small batch, handcrafted gin distilled and bottled in Scotland. It has coriander, juniper, citrus peel, rose petals and wait for it…cucumber infusions. Anyway I splashed out (ฬ) and got some. For a friend and me, I made a couple of gins and tonic. Tons of ice, generous measures of gin and a little tonic. I then followed the instructions for the Hendrick’s g & t which mandate adding a slice of cucumber instead of lemon or lime. Call me whacky, but it was delicious. Cool (as a cucumber) website http://www.cucumbergin.com/ I'd be interested in hearing about other people's fav gins, their fav gin drinks and how others go about making a proper g & t.
  19. Dear Lord Michael Lewis, I’m taken aback by your knowledge of scraps. Are you slumming it again under cover? As for finding any fruit and veg in “the frozen wastes of North Britain.” I was up that way a few months ago and at a large grocer I asked for an aubergine. The reply was “Oh, we’ll have to place a special order for that”. ______________ Bux: The Shepherd’s Pie I make is adapted from Jane Grigson’s “Observer Guide to British Cooking”. Thanks for pointing out the Parmentier. Grigson writes that this dish belongs to France and Britain. Acc to G, in France the dish is called hachis Parmentier (to honor the man who encouraged the French to eat potatoes). 1 lb of good quality, chopped meat. I go for beef but G. says you can use lamb or mixed veal & pork I med/large onion finely chopped 1Tb oil 2-3 cloves crushed garlic Half pt stock 1Tb flour/cornflour 1-2 Tbs of Worcestershire sauce 1-2 Tbs tomato paste Cayenne, thyme, salt, pepper Grated cheese (I use Cheddar/Leicester/Parmesan) 2 lb pots and what you need to make mashed pots Over low heat fry onion in oil till soft. Add garlic and cook a little, then add the meat. Turn up heat to brown. Remove excess fat. Add stock and simmer around ten mins. [i sometimes add thinly sliced carrots. Sometimes a bay leaf] Sprinkle on flour and bring to desired thickness. Add Worcestershire, tom paste and seasonings. Add more flour if necessary—the mixture should not be runny. Simmer while pots are cooking. I cook the meat mixture around 30 mins in total. (Note: this does look that appetizing at this point.) Before you mash the bulk of your cooked pots, thinly slice a couple (explained below). Put meat into casserole dish. Place mashed pots on top and flatten. Around the edge place in a ring the slices of pot you’ve reserved. Scatter cheese over top. Grill or place in hot oven till golden. Peas go well. And, course some decent mustard. [Another note: the basic ingredients that go into the dish. Onion, garlic, W. sauce, cayenne, thyme, stock, tom paste makes a good quick gravy for sausages etc.]
  20. Arbroath smokies, black pudding, gooseberry crumble, Dundee marmalade, Finnan haddock, haggis, hot pot, mince and tatties, oatcakes, pork with the crispy rind, scotch pies, shortbread, stovies (pots, lard and a little meat if you are lucky), white pudding (oatmeal, onions). Decent whisky and beer to wash it down. Unclogs the arteries. Maybe. Sorry to hear about this low carb business, Simon. I guess not much of the above for you. Awwwh
  21. Thanks for the tips, Jason. I've not tried either. But guess what? Woodchuck is also owned by Bulmers! http://www.woodchuck.com/about_us.html I'll look out for K Cider too. I looked it up on the web but I wouldn't recommend their site. So slow.
  22. My favorite cider is Magners Vintage Irish Cider. This non-cloudy cider with a red-ish tinge has a very clean taste, is slightly carbonated, and is a little sour. And only 125 calories per bottle. Available in New York at Garden of Eden (14 Street branch) where it’s under the deli counter. http://www.magnerscider.com/default1.asp Next on my list is Cider Jack Hard Cider. It’s a tad sweeter than Magners. (Supermarkets like D’Agostino carry it.) http://www.ciderjack.com/ Interestingly the two are made by Bulmers. I believe in UK the Magners equivalent is labeled “Bulmers” Forget Woodpecker. Yet Bulmers makes this too. Speak about hogging the entire market.
  23. Interesting etymology on the mignardise. Makes sense, little cakes named after affectation, ornateness, preciousness. Reminded me that in the UK little cakes are sometimes called “dainties”. Similar reasoning, I guess.
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