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Posts posted by gus_tatory

  1. Chris--

    An excellent background reference on this is "American Gourmet" by Jane and Michael Stern. Although there's nothing specifically on the puu puu platter, they use Trader Vic's as a launching point for a discussion of the "exotic" faux Polynesian/Tiki-inspired recipes/dishes of that time.

    Side note: I once worked as a dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant in Halifax in the 80s, and those platters, whenever one came back dirty to the kitchen, how my heart would sink--they were soo hard to wash... :laugh: But not to diminish from the nostalgia and enjoyment on this thread! :smile:

  2. Oh, well then it could take a while.  :laugh:

    But seriously, I'm aiming for September.

    Start small, see where -- or if -- it goes.

    Good luck, Lesley C! I am a longtime fan of your writing on food and have worked in web/coding/design/multimedia for over 10 years. Please feel free to PM me either if you wanted to run ideas past me, or perhaps--is this tactless to do this here?--engage me freelance at very reasonable rates... :rolleyes:

  3. ...To what extent are folks anxious about eating seafood -- raw, cooked, at home, at restaurants? Last weekend I consumed a massive platter of raw (and some cooked) shellfish at Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal without a first thought about safety, so I may not be in the demographic. What do you think?

    Hi Chris--

    I hope you enjoyed your APdC meal, and will be checking out the Montreal forum to see if you left a report. :smile:

    My .02 cents on this question tends to align with FG's. In general, North Americans are mistrustful (founded or not) of their food supply, and the title you used, with re: to ground beef bears this out. I am NOT saying there aren't some real dangers, but look at the following as three top-of-the-head examples*:

    --I have spoken with some members of the Japan forum, and the majority of people there don't seem to think there is anything wrong with eating raw chicken--IF you know its shelf-life, age, provenance, etc.

    --I dated a guy from Newfoundland, and after holiday turkey dinners, they would leave the entire bird carcass sitting on the counter (OMG you don't know how much I wanted to refrigerate it!) for a whole day before turning around the next morning and making turkey frame soup.

    --There's a Greek guy in my neighbourhood who owns a breakfast joint, and buddy keeps entire boxes of eggs, unrefrigerated, in his car--even on days when the mercury might reach 30 celsius.

    SO, I know I'm talking about storage and preparation when you started this off as being about origin, but worrying about your food doesn't make it any safer. Europeans store butter and unpasteurized cheeses at room temperature, and we don't hear of them expiring in droves.

    My fear about the neurotic North American way of looking at food--and I don't even know if this is scientifically possible--is that, in the same way we're made bacteria stronger by using too much and too strong and too frequent anti-bacterial products, is that we'll make our digestive systems less resistant to routine, sub-disease-level causing amounts of naturally-occurring 'contaminants'.

    * = I think I may have opened myself to criticism with this post, but please know, if any of you were to come eat at my house, I do NOT practice any of those food 'storage' methods I outlined above. :laugh:

  4. There is something in that Linda/Fifi quote that people do: they're not really writing about the food per se. They're showing you a little glimpse of their gorgeous, ordered minds, and their appreciation and respect for the process of cooking, and their love and kindness for the recipients of the food. Ostensibly they are writing about the food, but in reality they are writing about the non-violent 'collisions' of their beautiful souls with the concrete world, enabled through food & cooking. That chicken quote made me cry at work: please indulge me as I re-quote it. RIP Linda/Fifi.

    - - -

    "What is it about frying a bird that has so much emotional baggage? It does for me. The baggage is almost always good and lightly carried. Even in the past few years, when I resurrected the ritual, it was universally greeted by family and friends as an "event." And a good one at that. I am also beginning to suspect that Aunt Minnie's technique of fiddling around with the chicken in a clockwise manner was a way of focusing her mind on the situation at hand. Oddly enough, the last foray into frying the drumettes and employing this technique resulted in a weird experience. I was focusing on rotating the chicken but in the back of my mind, many other life decisions became clear.

    *cue Twilight Zone music*

    OK . . . Maybe we need a thread on the Zen of frying chicken."

  5. OK, so the obvious follow-up--has he received a response yet? Your husband sounds like a kind, good-humoured guy--and he must be good folk if he loves fried chicken! :wub:

    Please let us know if Swansons writes him back. I'm sure their response--if and when it comes--will be neither as witty nor as measured as your hubby's... :smile:

  6. ...Now I need to start planning my next visit to Montreal...

    there's also Garde Manger--what sounds like a very noisy, funky place in old montreal with great food, from what i hear. i've heard it referred to as 'the new Joe Beef', which is not to detract from Messieurs Morin and McMillan at all, but rather reflect favourably on them both i think... though they share no ownership or anything, i think that moniker is a reference to the laid back, yet extremely tasty food that leaves the kitchen...

  7. I think the Acadian poutine is different.  I might have asked about it on eGullet before (maybe to Shaya?), but I can't remember.  My former co-worker said it was sort of like arancini, but made with mashed potatoes instead of rice, and steamed in cheesecloth.  I can't remember what usually went in the middle, though.

    Does she have any good Scottish recipes you'd care to share during your blog?   :smile:

    I was not aware there was a special Acadian poutine, but its such a "grassroots" food I shouldn't be surprised. The story I know is that poutine was invented somewhere near Montreal like 50 years ago. For me, classic poutine is, from the bottom of the bowl up:

    1. rough cut french fries

    2. fresh white cheddar cheese curds

    3. thick chicken-based gravy

    4. black pepper and ketchup

    pretty decadent if you ask me!

    Sorry to interrupt your blog.

    Acadian poutine has nothing to do with the poutine from Quebec. It is generally made with a mixture of mashed potatoes and grated potatoes, often contain a piece of stewed meat. It is ball shaped, boiled and served with broth. Nothing like its Quebec fastfood cousin. You can find it on the Acadian coast of New-Brunswick but I don't think it is widely available elsewhere.

    Ha! now we can get back to your blog! :biggrin:

    The Acadian 'poutine' (meaning colloquially 'mess', or 'pudding (steamed)') is also known as 'rappie pie'. Again, sorry to interrupt... :smile:

  8. I've been a member since March 2003, and I think this thread is nearly that old. :wink:

    And this thread, I can browse it for hours with observing the obvious effort and care that people put into their food. Nice work, folks! :wub:

  9. this *is* an excellent idea for a topic. i was brought up by a somewhat puritanical mother, healthwise, and yet she was discovering gourmet cuisine such as it was in the 70s. so we would have for example skim milk from powder (eww) and french fries made with olive oil [?]. not together, i mean... :blink:

    but this had its benefits as i was never really scared of anything--as children we ate oysters, drank red wine, ate horseradish on roast beef and loved it, i remember liking buttered spinach and brussels sprouts--not every kid's fave tastes. :smile:

    i guess my point being that yes, the prevailing culture has huge influence, but so do family and other-cultural influences. before i was 17--as a Scottish-Canadian--i had seen tamari, miso paste, tahini: i don't suppose these things are so exotic any more, but once they were.

    and i really believe in individual taste preferences too: i love stuff now like kim chi, sauerkraut, etc., but no matter how hard i try i can't stomach the taste of fresh ginger--it has a 'burn-y' taste to me--yet i love so many other aromatics and spicy things. so go figure... :unsure:

  10. Drinking water is good advice, but once you've *got* a hangover, I think miso soup is one of the best things you can take to make you feel better quickly - especially now you can get miso paste with the 'dashi' or stock mixed right in.

    Totally agree on this--I managed a Japanese resto for a year, and if I was ever hungover, i'd have a green tea and a miso soup, and i'd be right as rain. No coincidence that the society that invented the isakaya also invented green tea dn miso soup. :smile:

    Also, there is a yogurt (or keffir) drink called Ayran that is like a salted lassi--1 c. yogurt, 1 c. water, and 1 tsp. salt--chilled to really cold. That does it every time. :cool:

  11. I've heard that Vancouver has a KFC place called Cco Cco.  I'd like to try some but am not able to find any locally so plan on going there next trip to YVR. 

    The best description that I found of KFC is from a blogger in Korea:


    Has anyone tried Cco Cco?  Is it a respectable representation of any of the styles described?

    hi balomi--

    i have not tried the place you mention, but this blog entry links to an article in New York Times that describes the phenomenon of Korean fried chicken in delicious detail... :wub:

    edit to add, here is the direct link:

    direct link to NY Times, clicky...

  12. CWL--There is already _at least_ one thread devoted to finding recipes for the "exotic" "Chinese" "red" "sauce". Try here [red sauce link], and try also hzrt8w's pictorials in China & Chinese Cuisine.

    Having said that, i really do not want to be a food snob, but with the hundreds of gorgeous, subtle, unbelievably tasty sauces in Chinese cooking, why this starchy, sugary, fluorescent "American-Chinese" abomination?

  13. ...

    2. The hollandaise was too thick, it seemed. Did I thicken the eggs too much (there were no cooked egg bits that I could discern), or did I use the wrong proportions of butter? Should the butter have been melted instead? It did not drizzle from the spoon, but instead came out in small blobs, like a pudding that has just begun to set. ...

    hi Jisho--

    i can only comment on the hollandaise part, but it sounds like you guys had a great breakfast, so no need to split hairs~! :biggrin:

    i find people are scared of hollandaise a little bit, but if you have it over water that's just bubbling, and whisk it every 4-5 minutes, and (here's the "cheating") whisk in 1-2 tsp of warm water from the pan below, it is stabilized and will be fine. i have heard of using cream to do this, but i also like the really lemon-y taste, and cream and lemon = maybe not. it sounds like you did everything great--my hollandaise ends up a "quivering" texture (i can't think of a better word) that's like halfway between 35% cream and a loose mayonnaise.

    and if you're making something "caribbean", like grilled fish, try lime juice, or tangerine juice instead of the lemon.

    but it all sounds lovely nevertheless. :smile:

  14. That is unbelievably sad. :sad:

    And my .02$ on the restaurant rumours thing is that there are certain people [...redacted...] who seem to take a perverse *pleasure* in reporting that much-loved spots are to close.

    This is loathsome and makes me feel sick, someone taking glee in another's misery. This is livelihoods and reputations and life savings we're talking about... :angry:

    [Post redacted to avoid causing discomfort to certain people.]

  15. has anyone been here recently? i have a reservation for the 23rd, and my Mom is coming all the way from Nova Scotia ( :biggrin::laugh: ) to see me and eat at this place.

    seriously, i'm wondering what their winter menu is like, if anyone can endorse or recommend staying away from any particular dishes, etc. thanks in advance~! i very much appreciate the weblink to the menu, but in all likelihood, that menu will not be the same when we go...

  16. jeniac42: perhaps someone who makes home-made kimchi can answer your question. The stuff I buy at my neighbourhood Korean store (napa cabbage variety) is great and cheap.

    Today I awoke with a mild hangover from my office Christmas party, and made kimchi three ways: :wub:


    kimchi jige (chicken broth, kimchi, greenonions)


    kimchi pajeon (pancakes)


    greens stir-fried then braised with kimchi, sesame oil

    I feel better now. :smile:

  17. it actually would have been good to have had this info last Friday, during that mini ice-storm, b/c St-Laurent from Mount Royal north to at least Little Italy was all dark and powerless.

    Then again, I don't know how far I would have been willing to walk in freezing rain for a resto with a generator. :raz:

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