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Everything posted by phlawless

  1. I'm a huge fan of globals, and Varmint, since i'm in the neighborhood, I'd be happy to loan you my 8 inch. The blade lasts so much longer than any german couterparts: I've used Wustof for years, and they just don't hold an edge like the Japanese. And please.....get rid of that electric sharpener, there's a place in Cary that will do it for you if you don't want to invest in a stone and steel.
  2. Maybe I'm biased, but here's my two cents: Mag Grill food could be described as more complex simply because of the layering of flavors Ben chooses to use. On any one dish there are at least three 'bases' of flavor, take pork belly for example, it's rubbed with aromatics and allowed to sit for at least 24 hours, braised in more aromatics for 4-5 hours, then the components on the plate are all prepared seperately with their own profiles of flavor. The belly is then grilled or pan seared to order, and finished with either a viniagrette or stock-based reduction. Ashley at Vin is a great cook, but she doesn't have the resources i.e. 9-10 cooks available for prep and execution that Ben does. I don't think Vin or Mag Grill are terribly innovative with their menus, but we've discussed this in other threads, and I don't really think they can be compared because of the vast difference in their kitchens. Ashley's food is simplified, and rightfully so, it's what their whole concept has been from the beginning with Andrea Reusing.
  3. I wouldn't use marble or a silpat: like you said the marble will be too cool, and the silpat is not necessary. If you just rub a cookie sheet with a bit of peanut oil, so that the brittle will spread more easily, you can even warm your cookie sheet a bit if your kitchen is on the cool side. If you use corn syrup/ baking soda it will be softer and opaque. Toast your nuts and cook sugar to soft crack to make a pleasant texture/ toasty flavor.
  4. yes you can get goat's milk at Wellspring, although sometimes they only have the low-fat. Not that big of a deal if that's all there is. The pepitas, are pretty easy, and you can make them a day ahead of time. 2 c pumpkin seeds (also found at Wellspring, in the bulk section) 1/2 c sugar pinch salt 2 c sugar 1/2 t cinnamon 1/2 t cayenne pinch salt mix 1/2c sugar and salt then mix other sugar and spices and lay out evenly on a sheetpan toast your seeds in an uncoated pan (anything but nonstick) till they start to turn golden and pop add 1/2c sugar and salt mix and coat seeds completely toss continually until sugar starts to caramelize, once golden, pour onto sheet pan with other sugar mix and toss till coated completely, breaking up clumps of seeds and caramel. allow to cool and store at room temp in an airtight container. sift extra sugar when time to serve.
  5. phlawless

    sharpening stones

    are water stones double grit?
  6. I tried the Hamilton Beach (now under the name DeLonghi) before getting the 6 qt. KA, and I sent it back. It's cheapy plastic surface and speed dial were warning signs, then the thing went kaput after a batch of italian meringue, it couldn't take high speed for any length of time before the motor overheated. (As an aside, it was purchased through chef's catalogue, and they were wonderful with returns). Kitchen Aid monopolizes the market for a reason...
  7. phlawless

    sharpening stones

    It cost three dollars, and I've always used mineral oil when using other stones.
  8. phlawless

    sharpening stones

    I'm just wondering if I assume it's a water stone, which most Japanese are (I can't tell the difference in the asian characters), will I compromise it's use if it turns out to be an oil stone, or vice versa?
  9. I'm a pastry person and highly recommend the 6 qt. I have a standard tilt head 4 1/2 qt also that has worked wonderfully, but couldn't handle my wedding cake volume. The screw bottow bowl also began to strip, and I am not a fan of the coated beaters: they can chip and leave crap in your batter/dough. Also the tilt head can get very dirty and hard to clean. If you're concerned about small amounts of whites/batters to mix, just do it by hand. And unless you're kneading enough bread dough for 6-8 loaves, you should really knead it yourself anyway. That's the only way to really learn how to make bread. (sorry, pet peeve...people cooked and baked without these things forever, there's no reason to use a mixer for a two loaf batch of bread.)
  10. I recently bought a stone at an asian market, and it's not labeled, at least not in english, whether to use water or oil. How can I tell? It's a two grit, cost 3 bucks, and says nothing but 'sharpening stone'. Help??
  11. Finally, can the triangle/traid/charlotte support professional cooks? Is the market big enough to provide enough jobs for all of us? I don't know about the triad, but the triangle definitely can. The labor pool is ridiculously small, and even though we bitch about mediocre offerings for a decent meal out, I believe it's partially due to the lack of a core group of professionals to hire. Charlotte will be flushed with the new Johnson and Wales, and hopefully we'll benefit from some extern overflow, but I would enthusiastically encourage anyone who wants a new area to live to come and give it a shot. It's not as competitive as Atlanta, and one would have to be patient with the 'uneducated' palates, but the more people we get here who want to make great food, the less we'll have to complain about.
  12. The fritters are incredibly easy: 1 can pumpkin puree 1 1/2 c ap flour 1 T baking powder 1/4 c sugar 4 eggs, separated mix everything but egg whites heat 4 inches oil till flour sizzles (about 325) beat whites with generous pinch of salt to soft peak and fold into above spoon gumball size dollops into oil, frying three or four at a time turn after 30-45 seconds, fry till golden dry on towels, then toss in cinnamon sugar this makes enough for 8-9 people, 3 fritters a piece, you can half the batch without any adjustments cajeta 1 qt whole fat goat's milk 1 c sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1 t baking soda heat milk to a boil, turn down to a simmer and add sugar and cinnamon stick simmer on low for about an hour, till it starts to froth and caramelize once it starts to clump when falling from a spoon, it's done add baking soda, this will deepen the color and stabilize the consistency allow to cool, can be served very cold or room temp, depending on how thick you like it goat cheese ice cream 1/2 # fresh goat cheese 1 heaping cup sugar pinch of salt 1 qt goats milk 18 egg yolks 2 vanilla beans mascerate cheese with sugar and salt till smooth add to yolks and mix heat milk and scraped vanilla beans to boil remove and temper egg/cheese mix, strain cool, preferably overnight, and freeze in ice cream machine I need to look up the tamal recipe, it's in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen book, I'll post it later. The fillings I just kind of winged. Varmint made the short rib, so I'm not sure exactly what went into that.
  13. I was lucky and didn't get the haze... damn those marguaritas were yummy. Both Mr. phlawless and I had a great time, it was a great group of people to meet, nice to be around folks who aren't in the industry but are still enthusiastic about food, though I hope never to devote that much time or breath to Paris Hilton again. My favorites of the night (besides the marguaritas) were the salsas and the pork for the tacos. Nice rub, Varmint! Excellent balance of smoke and heat. I still can't believe I ate as much as I did...right now a bowl of beans with cotija and that pork would make a fine breakfast! I've got a few photos as well, but don't know how to post them. Help?
  14. jeez, and i thought it WAS my charming demeanor that got me all those invites...
  15. I'm going to the latin market tomorrow, to do an initial scout. If you need me to check on anything in particular, let me know.
  16. I'm assuming we will have tacos, which would use the pork, maybe we should have a fish filling as well. Pozole is pretty filling, so I don't know if you want to have another heavy dish in addition to the tacos. Seviche would be fine as well, screw geo-authenticity right now, it would work well as a munchie. A mole would be essential as well. I do know it's a bit difficult to get good quality mexican chocolate, so I would suggest El Rey, even though it's South American it does have a bit less fruityness then it's Euro counterparts. I was reading through some Rick Bayless as well, and saw something pretty cool: a tamal de cazuela. (I can't imagine a fiesta without some sort of tamale) It's baked in an earthenware pot, then cooled and sliced. This would be a yummie munchie as well. In addition to what we listed, I think at least one salad should be considered (jicama, cabbage).
  17. My first 'southern' meal when I was a kid was squirrel. I had just moved to NC and a classmate invited me to spend the night. At breakfast on Saturday morning, her Diddy had gone hunting a couple of days before, and her Mama served squirrel brains and eggs. They had the forsight to not inform me what I had eaten until I was finished. Certainly not the worst thing I've put in my mouth. And I was able to brag to my northern family members that I had actually eaten squirrel.
  18. So I asked the chicas at work about smoking meat, and I hope I'm not too late on making mention of this now, but the type of wood they use is either pecan, fruit trees, or hickory. Mesquite is more of a tex-mex deal, and can be used, but is not as traditional.
  19. The chicken feet can be omitted, I've never made them, only eaten and it's more of a novelty than tasty: imagine really tough octopus. how about cocktails (marguaritas, bloody marias, sangria) and a couple of snackies (empanadas, jalapeno rellenos, tostadas seviche, etc...) then do tacos with 3-4 fillings (pork, fish, chicken, greens) with condiments then one dessert? I don't know how many people we're talking about, but that seems manageable for 5-6 relatively skilled cooks.
  20. Okay... but I'm no expert. Here are a few options: Tamales: a lot of work, very simple, and an assload of lard. Tacos: endless variety of fillings from slow roasted pig to fish steamed in banana leaves, chorizo, moles, to frijoles refritas, again an assload of lard. I have a source for local handmade tortillas; i've found it's better to leave this up to those who are very practiced, and they are VERY good, all corn no flour. Pozole: this doesn't have to be the focus, but would work well with anything. Hominy, chiles, and sometimes pig ear or chicken feet(!), or you can go gringo with pulled pork or chicken. Empanadas: again, not necessarily the whole meal; pan friend savory pies that come in all flavors. Desserts: tres leches, pumpkin fritters with cajeta, the ubiquitous flan, coconut ice cream. If anyone else has some suggestions...
  21. As for Latino market, there is a fantasitic one in Durham, La Superiore, off Roxboro Rd. It has a butcher shop and serves some food as well...as for me coming solo I don't know if my sweetie will come or not, I will let you know.
  22. I think dinner in is a fabulous idea. And I hope you know I didn't expect you to take indie rock seriously...that lunch sucked, frankly: irony and hunger do not marry well. I'd love to be a part of it, and am willing to supply/cook/bake whatever. As for themes...northern mexican? Tamales, handmade tortillas, salt roasted fish, cajeta...just an idea.
  23. There are plenty of other options to Glenwood South that would draw the numbers needed to recoup an investment, I believe that it's actually a bit tapped out, and most of those who choose to spend their money probably wouldn't be interested in something we would choose to open/patronize. Look at Bistro 607, they used to serve an amazing lunch that was reasonably priced, and the dining room was most often empty. I have no idea what the food is like now, I haven't been in three years at least. And I think 500g's is a bit steap, maybe for the Bogart's and Sullivan's, but there a lot of areas that are still very affordable.
  24. theme's are good...where I work each of us has a day that we are responsible for staff meal, and often the most creative and rewarding come from a theme that we are assigned. Sometimes it's as simple as picnic or childhood birthday party, but the most fun come from something more subtle like indie rock.
  25. My talent and vision exceed even the best of your expectations, now all I need is the cash....
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