Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by malachi

  1. malachi

    crema coffee

    I think a key attribute, however, would have to be the roast. The swiss and northern european roasts I've had have all be very light, with no oil present on the surface of the bean. I can imagine a scenario where, by using the right blend of beans (probably central american and african) and going with a very light roast, a coarser grind and a very firm tamp one could get more volumne without extracting too many bitter flavours. I don't know if the results would be to my taste -- but I'd have to try it to be sure. If I remember correctly, David Schomer says that (in his travels) he found that the further north in europe you went the lighter the roast and the longer the draw became. Thus, the sicilian 0.50 oz super thick espresso syrup (grin).
  2. I guess it would depend on what you consider "pizza" (much less good pizza). I would tend to define Wooster St pizza as the best in the world (with Sally's and Pepe's at the top of the category) and as such consider any cheese other than low moisture mozzerella, pecorino romano or parmagiana to have no place on good pizza. Far more important, IMHO, in getting a good pizza is to be very restrained when it comes to the quantity of cheese on the pizza. More is not better in this case. It's all personal taste, however, and I have friends whose tastes I respect who swear by a 50/50 mix of mozz ("moots") and cheddar. Shrug.
  3. malachi

    A Challenge

    Jaymes - you're right. Good point. Nickn - ummm... his customers want to buy Frozen Lobster tails and want to know what to do with them. Not carrying them is probably not a realistic option. KNorthrup - it's the cost. Folks here are not wealthy. This is beef country, and beef is quite cheap. When someone spends 4x the per pound cost of Porterhouse it's going to have to be a special occassion.
  4. And I knew temp workers in San Francisco ten years ago who were getting reception and admin assistant gigs and pulling in $15/hr. Production typist temp gigs were running around $20/hr. And that was 10 years ago - i.e. before the whole dot-com thing so fiscally responsible wages.
  5. Chefs (short of the top-tier) make "good money" (as you say) in the abstract. Then there is the unfortunate day when you do the math and determine your hourly pay (as opposed to your salary). The abstract becomes less valuable at that point. I think far fewer cooks would complain about their income if: 1) there were better benefits available to them (not just health insurance, but nice things like vacations and sick days, and 401ks, etc.), and/or 2) the hours were more managable vis a vis work/life balance, and/or 3) wait staff were not allowed to count tips in front of back of the house staff.
  6. malachi

    A Challenge

    Thanks for the additional suggestions. Some sound interesting -- though I don't know if any really fit within the requirements.
  7. malachi

    A Challenge

    Thanks so much. Butter Poached is the tentative solution I came up with. Grilled might be worth considering given that (as you point out) it could drive his steak sales. I'm concerned, however, about the lobster being tough (frozen then grilled). Butter Poached has the downside of requiring that someone make a Beurre Monte - but has the upside of making it hard to overcook the lobster. Lobster salad wouldn't really be "special occasion" enough I fear (and in these parts salad is not a main course). I have the same concerns about the pasta solution. Stir-fry is probably a bit "exotic" for folks hereabouts. Lobster Thermidor would probably be an ideal solution - but I'm kind of loathe to do it for some reason. Sigh... Yeah - he's a great butcher. Probably the only reason I am able to live here.
  8. I know that many have declared the mid to late '80s (and early '90s) as a terrible period for Diamond Creek so I was a bit concerned about this wine. Suffice it to say that I was pleasantly surprised. This is not the super-extracted California Cab some have come to expect. It is an austere, stylish wine with firm, but evolved, tannins that provide an excellent structure for the mineral, spice and smoky fruit (black cherry?). There are not the jammy flavours some favor - instead this is a wine in the style of the more traditional Bordeaux winemakers. There was some sediment, but the bottle had been well stored and settled and decanting was painless. In colour the wine seemed to promise a bit more forward fruit than it delivered - a deep purplish red like a ripe plum. The aroma was gorgeous - very spicy with a solid leather and mineral foundation. To be honest, I knew I'd like the wine the moment I first smelled it. Initial flavours are pepper and mineral. Tannins are present, but softened by time (this wine must have been mouth-puckering when young). The wine rounds out across the palette to finish with smoke and fruit. A lovely and perhaps underappreciated wine.
  9. malachi

    A Challenge

    Background: I (periodically) provide recipes to my wonderful local butcher so that he can distribute them to customers who say things like "whole smoked ham shanks? what would I do with that?" These recipes have to be simple to execute, use common and easy to find ingredients (a challenge in a very remote town of 3500 like this) can't be "exotic" and must be main courses. So the other day he asked me to come up with a "special occassion" recipe using Frozen Lobster Tail. I tried to tell him I would never use much less buy Frozen Lobster Tail. But he needs a recipe. Given the above requirements, things like Lobster Ceviche or Tempura Lobster Tacos are obviously out. So... what would you do?
  10. malachi

    Dinner! 2003

    Braised Lamb Shanks Creamy Mushroom Polenta Pan-Wilted Greens 1989 Chapelle d'Ausone Molten Chocolate Cakes with Raspberries and Creme Anglais 1988 Maculan Torcolata
  11. malachi

    Dinner! 2003

    Took my own advice to heart and made brined, pounded thin-cut pork chops fried in a panko crust with onion-peach-sage marmalade. Very tasty. Steamed artichokes with aoili on the side. Unibroue La Fin du Monde in a Duvel glass for me, a nice half bottle of 1997 Felsina Chianti for my GF.
  12. Double Cappuccino (Espresso Vivace Vita Roast, ristretto pull) Three eggs, scrambled with chives and cream cheese Two slices applewood smoked bacon Two large glasses water One small fresh peach Handful of pistachio nuts Handful of red seedless grapes
  13. Looking back on it, my realization is that being trained as a chef was far less about being taught to cook and far more about being taught the realities of working in the profession. So yes - brutal indeed. The yelling, the "who chopped these carrots - King Kong?" All the "move back home and get a job at 7-11" and the pressure, the failure, the expectations... they were all designed to both weed out those who would fail in a restaurant kitchen and expose those who didn't truly desire the life. Some looked into themselves and said, "I can't take it." Some said, "It's not worth it." And others said, "fuck them - I'll prove I have what it takes. I'll prove I'm a Chef." Would that experience be valuable to someone who did not have the intention of working in food service? Maybe. I don't know.
  14. One (at this point) needs to subdivide the so-called "microbreweries" in the US into a bunch of different categories. In the "old-school" category, you do (in fact) get few if any bottle-conditioned beers. Then you get the more recent main-steam micros which have some or many bottle conditioned beers (Victory and Stone are good examples). And there are the US micros that brew Belgian style beers (Allagash, New Belgium, Ommegang, etc.) who do entirely bottle conditioned beers due to the style. And finally there are a growing number of true "craft" breweries who pursue the super-high standards and tend to produce very small quantities of beers which are either true to their styles or truly experimental and thus are sometimes filtered, sometimes bottle-conditioned, sometimes cask-conditioned (Alesmith, Dogfish Head, Kalamazoo and Three Floyds are all examples). Oh... and I believe that Rogue makes or has made a number of either unfiltered or bottle-conditioned ales including their Charlie 1981, Mo Ale, Imperial Stout, Brew 5000, Old Crustacean and their Kriek.
  15. I would want to see some facts and methodology to support those numbers.
  16. Your post implies that these "non-restaurant employee" students are being in some way denied full training when in fact the truth is that they are choosing to not pursue it. To clarify -- anyone can choose to pursue the complete training by choosing the appropriate program(s). You are not required to then go into food service as a profession. It's just that certain programs attract a certain audience -- and that audience then chooses to sign up for those programs.
  17. There are different programs at LCB. My memory is that she is very explicit about the fact that she was in a program that (while perhaps not truly designed for wealthy housewifes-to-be) was attractive to a non-professional audience.
  18. Bone and trim fat. Pound thin. Quick brine. Dry. Light egg wash. Dredge in seasoned Panko. Fry in hot oil. Serve with Onion-Peach-Sage Marmalade.
  19. malachi

    Girl Cook

    I read the Galley version. I can't really recommend it. Less "Bourdain" than it is "Sex in the City goes Slumming."
  20. malachi

    Dinner! 2003

    I'm experimenting these days - figuring at some point my girlfriend will say "enough" and I'll have found the limits. Wild Salmon Filet marinated for 20 minutes in a mixture of crushed pineapple, habanero chilis, sea salt, lime juice, rice wine vinegar and thai basil. Cooked in a 400 degree wood fired oven (75% alder, 25% hickory) on a rack over a pan of water. Served with Kale sauteed with garlic, EVOO and sea salt and dressed with sherry vinegar. Lime/Pineapple "chutney" as a condiment (diced unripe lime, fine diced pineapple, garlic-chili paste, lots of salt, minced sweet onion). Actually came out quite tasty - though the chutney may have been "gilding the lily" so to speak.
  21. I have to say you're the first person I've ever heard claim better results from singles than doubles. Most quality espresso bars in the US have standardized on double shots due to the difficulties in getting a flat pack and tamp and consistent fill. I know that my single shots are dramatically inferior to my half-double shots. Then again, my shots pulled on the right grouphead are inferior to the other groupheads, so who knows. It could all be in my head.
  22. malachi

    Espresso Machines

    I've heard of the La Marzocco home model... It would truly be the dream set-up to have a home version of the Linea with the doserless Mazzer Mini. Mmmm... Throw in a lifetime supply of the Vivace Dolce (with perhaps 1/4 Vivace Vita) and I'd be a happy man. I pulled a shot today using the Dolce that may well have been the best shot I've had in the US. Of course... it was at work not at home, but none the less it was a lovely experience. Almost as good as a mediocre shot in Northern Italy. Vivace's is, in fact, my favorite US roast.
  23. My experience is the same. Higher volume (and lighter roast) the further north you get, lower volume (and darker roast) the further south.
  24. I don't think this is quite correct (though I could be wrong). As I understand it... Luongo is a thinner, sharper and higher volume espresso. Ristretto is a thicker, rounder and lower volume espresso. They're more regional styles than anything else in my experience, but you can order either style in many cases. Doppio is, as you say, a double -- but can be Luongo or Ristretto. Many people say that the Ristretto is the "gourmand" espresso, but in my experience it has more to do with the roast than anything else. In southern italy (where espresso roasts are commonly dark and oily) you often have no choice but to do a ristretto shot to avoid excessive bitterness, while in Northern Italy (where roasts are far lighter) a ristretto shot is not required, and the (arguably more difficult) Luongo can be pulled without exposing the roast.
  25. malachi

    5th Annual summer party

    While they are not "obscure" I'd say my favorite of the Cotes du Rhone (I'm being picky and ruling out wines not explicitly from Cotes du Rhone in this case) producers are Tardieu-Laurent, Coudoulet de Beaucastel, Chateau de Fonsalette, Guigel and Domaine Gramenon. For Cotes du Rhone you'll probably want to be looking for wines from 1998 or (perhaps) 1995. While 2000 yielded stunning quality, you'll have to pick and choose to find wines that are ready to drink. Obviously, if money truly is no object then you could go and pick up some truly great Cotes du Rhone from either 1989 or 1990. These wines should be perfect now and were from profound years. Wines you might want to look for that people may not have had would include the 2000 Cotes du Rhone-Villages from Louis Bernard, the 1999 Domaine Santa Duc Cote du Rhone Les Quatre Terre or (for something more "old school") the 1998 Cotes du Rhone Tradition from Barton & Guestier. You should try to find the 1999 Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rose as well. Clean, balanced with a medium-light body -- perfect for pairing with difficult dishes. If you're willing to extend beyond "Cotes du Rhones" then I would second FG's suggestion - though I think I would go with an older bottle (at least the 1998) as that particular vintage probably won't fully peak until around 2010 or so. I would guess the Sizeranne would be very nice with the Lapin. I'd also look at some of the other Chapoutier wines - his wines are consistently interesting. I recently had a bottle of the 1999 Chapoutier Cote-Rotie La Mordoree and, while it is not at its peak yet, it was and will be a mind-blowing wine. If this is "blind" I'd throw in (as a spoiler) Sean Thackery's Orion (look for the 1995 if you can). Bernard Chave Tete de Cuvee (1999 or 2000) is an excellent value wine, and would pair well with a number of the dishes (it might even hold up to the Merguez sausage. The 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape from Chateau Cabrieres is lovely, incredibly pure in taste. If you can find the 1999 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau it's a fabulous wine. It will still be rather tight and minerally, but with decanting will be a lovely experience. The 1998 is equally good, and more open and ready to drink. I also recently opened a bottle of the 1999 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve and, while still a bit closed initially, once it opened it was a glorious wine -- something to serve to bigots who think Chateaneuf-du-Pape is inferior "rustic" wines. The Jean-Michel Gerin Cote-Rotie Les Grandes Places is one of my favorite wines from the Rhone Valley of all time. Incredible. Soft, exposive fruits, noticable flower and oak notes - the 1999 should be ready to drink now. Far more affordable, though just now coming into its prime, is the 1998 Guigal Cote-Rotie Brue et Blonde. For a Gigondas look for the 1998 Le Grand Montmirail from Domaine Brusset. Like liquid velvet - but with the tanins needed to get you through aging. Also the 1999 Domaine de Cabasse. A brilliant example of both the style and the terroir. Incredible winemaking. Finally, the Domaine Santa Duc from 1998 is brilliant and stunning. For a Cornas, the 1997 from A. Clape is staggeringly good. It may be hard to source, but if you can get some this is a great illustration of the terroir of the Rhone. If you can find any of the 1999 Domaine Courbis Cornas Champelrouse then you should buy them up, serve all but two, keep one for yourself and send me one (grin). With the Foie I would look for the Condrieu Essence d'Automne from Yves Cuilleron. Strong preserved fruit flavours and honey sweetness will balance well with the fats. He also makes another botrytized wine that I love - the Condrieu Ayguets (harder to find in my experience). Both are incredible. A dream white is the 1998 Hermitage White from JL Chave. Hard to find - but stunning. Absolutely world class. Additional whites from Rhone that are worth considering would include the 1998 Vernay Condrieus Coteaux de Vernon and Les Terrasses de L'Empire. Also worth seeking out is the 1996 Hermitage White from JL Grippat.
  • Create New...