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Nathan P.

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Everything posted by Nathan P.

  1. The falling leaves cocktail sounds like a very interesting drink but since I did not have most of the ingredients on hand I started experimenting with something similar. My current formulation is: 1.5 oz Lairds Bonded Apple Brandy 1.0 oz hard cider (I am using Clos Normand Brut which is reasonably dry, has decent apple flavor/nose and 4% alc.) 0.5 oz Cointreau 1.25 tsp honey syrup (1:1) 1 tsp of lemon juice 2 dashes Angostura 2 dashes Fees orange bitters I like the balance of this with the lemon juice providing a counterpoint to the sweetness and the bitters giving complexity and spice to the apples. I'd like a cider with a bit more fizz and I am contemplating infusing some vanilla into the brandy for future versions. This drink is a bit sweeter than the general preference of this bord seems to be but I think this appropriate for a fall aperteif. For garnish I am using a canella stick and an apple slice.
  2. I bought sichuan peppercorns here http://www.thecmccompany.com/chin.htm as they had stock during the ban. More $ than at an Asian market but if you dont have one close..
  3. I just finished a block and thought it was rich and tasty. Don't know if if tasted like parmesan but I did think it had a complex flavor and the tasty richness that comes from a high fat content. Got mine at the Cheeseboard in Berkeley if that is close enough to you or Andronicos is slow to restock.
  4. Has anyone here tried experimenting with Campari and Limoncello? Inspired by the limoncello thread I made a batch this year but a very foggy summer in Nor. California has curtailed my dreams of sipping it in the warm afternoon sun. With a recently acquired bottle of Campari which I am developing a taste for I thought the lemon and sugar of the limoncello would go nicely with the Campari. I just started with 1oz Hendrick's Gin, 1 oz limoncello, .5 oz lemon juice and .5 oz Campari. I was thinking of a follow-up experiment making the Jasmine but substituting limoncello for the Cointreau. Any thoughts?
  5. Thanks for the book photo, I have to admit I am a bit jealous! Nice fig tree- great thing to have for someone who loves italian food. If you look around I am sure you can find some cool italian vegetables for next season. I have some big yellow corno di toro peppers I am waiting on here in northern California, genovese basil, and a white/purple rosa bianca eggplant. Probably too hot for artichokes there? Next year I'd like to track down nepitella and something to replace the round italian summer squash which wont produce a squash as big as a golf ball
  6. Your food continues to look great and be motivating. I am a big fan of the pesto pantesco. I assume you picked this up from Batali? It is such a clean bright sauce that I think it makes a perfect summer pasta for al fresco dining on a hot day. If you get a chance, how about a photo of your italian cookbook library. I've been looking at my library and local used shops for some of the things you have mentioned and would love to see your total collection.
  7. Yesterday I broiled some eggplant slices and then layered with ricotta with a bit of parmesan and parsley. Made pretty little towers and plated with a tomato sauce. I also made some candied orange peel which I blended into my leftover ricotta. I fomred it into quenelles and then sprinkled some crushed spanish turron on them. A drizzle of warm honey and a bit of balsamic vinegar made a nice dessert.
  8. Nathan P.

    Dinner! 2005

    First post here as I don't have a digital camera and am not exactly a heavy poster, but motivated by tonights meal and the residual effects of the wine I thought I would add to this mega-thread. Started with some thin long radishes with irish butter and maldon salt. 2nd was some toasted Acme wheat bread rubbed with tomato, a drizzle of local olive oil and a piece of serrano ham. 3rd was a napolean of japanese eggplant with some very good ricotta and a tomato sauce with a bit of genovese basil from the garden 4th was halibut cheeks on creamed leeks with green beans. The final savory was meat from the bones of a leftover pork roast that had been braised in the tomato sauce stuffed into zucchini w/ a maitake mushroom sauce. For dessert I made quenelles of the leftover ricotta with some candied orange zest. These were then sprinkled with some crushed spanish turron and a drizzle of warm honey and a bit of an 8 yr balsamic. All of this was washed down with a nice Isabel Sav. Blanc from NZ, a Ribero del Duero and a final shot of Limoncello. I was fortunate that the northern California weather was kind and the fog just barely stayed away for this long late afternoon outdoor meal.
  9. I used a lemon peel most of the way around the glass. (this means of course as long as I could cut it !) Did not have an orange and since I needed the lemon juice anyway.... The photo from the Museum of the Modern Cocktail is the same as used in DeGroff's 'Craft of the Cocktail'. Mine was not nearly as pretty. Have to pick up some rye to try as well.
  10. I am going to my local wine bar, Soif, where they are putting on a bistro menu instead of their usual modern CalMed food. The initial menu they emailed is as follows: Plateau de Fromages Charcuterie du maison Huître avec mignonette Salade verte aux fines herbes Poireaux frais vinaigrette Moules Marinieres Langue de l' agneau et les petites betteraves de Chioggia et roquette sauvage Gnocchi des herbes a la parisienne Salmon aux beurre, pettit pois et morelle Confit du canard avec les vegetables d' été et sauce moutarde Porc rôti avec les haricot egrenés fraÎche Ragoût du veal et son moelle Crème caramel Tarte au Lemon Mousse au Chocolat Selection du sorbets du fruits frais Carte du Vins Blanc Burgundy - 2003 Vocoret Chablis Grand Cru, Valmur Loire - 2003 Didier Dagueneau, Pouilly-Fume "Pur Sang" Rhone - TBA Bordeaux - TBA Rouge 1 Burgundy - 2000 Domaine de L'Arlot "Clos des Forêts" 1er Cru, Nuits St. Georges Southern Rhône - TBA North Rhône - 2000 Domaine Levet Côte-Rôtie Rouge 2 Chateau Lynch Bages, Pauillac Grand Cru: 1995, 1996, 2000
  11. I will have to try this variation as well. I quite liked the drink and while on the sweet side, I did not find it cloying. A sugar rim would have put it over the top but deGroffs book says the sugar rim is what gives the drink it's name. I may try a touch more lemon juice next time. The only bourbon I have is the Eagle Rare 10 yr which I just picked up based upon its popularity as good value in the bourbon thread. Are these types of cherries grown in the US? I recently picked up The Great Italian Cookbook which has a recipe for Maraschino. They steep 4 cups of Morello cherry pits in 2 cups of 80* liquor for 2.5+ months and then add 2 cups of simple syrup. Is this oversimplified? I thought I read here that Maraschino included some fruit or leaves etc...
  12. I am also in the "this is a decent book" camp. I checked it out at my local library, and while a nice book, it is not the definative piece on Italian cuisine that it seems like Mario could put out. With so many recipes available at foodtv I am putting this onto a buy if you see a good deal but not a must own at the moment. The only thing I cooked directly from the book were the eggplant involtini which were very good. I was happy to see the cauliflower minestra recipe which has been a real go to dish for me over the last few years. Perfect in its simplicity if you have access to the same super sweet fit in the palm of your hand cauliflowers that I have in northern Cal. Another favorite that I think was missing is a simple pasta with walnuts and breadcrumbs. Anyone else agree that his bolognese recipe with tomatoes and stock tastes better than teh tomato paste version? I think if the book had been broken up into a more regional focus I would have been a bit more enthusiastic about it.
  13. Growing up on pancakes from scratch was great; Thanks Mom! Homemade pizza and pesto before it became popular (thanks to an old sicilian neighbor) are also up there.
  14. I wanted to add my thanks for the Fancy Free and Bourbon Crusta cocktails. After tracking down a bottle of Maraschino based upon the Aviation raves here I needed some new drinks. I am curious if people are sugar coating their rims for the crusta? I thought this was a great cocktail but a bit on the sweet side and not in need of more sugar. But doesn't a crusta need a sugared rim???
  15. I do the majority of my cooking with extra virgin oil these days. Right now I am using Napa Valley Naturals Organic at around $9 /750ml. It is good enough to use in a salad dressing or bruschetta but not so pricey that it bothers me to cook with it. I also have a pricey bottle http://oliomontalbano.it/Eng/montalbano.html (the Dalle Terre di Leonardo) for when I want something subtle and complex for drizzling. I also have a small bottle of a local CA olive oil. Anyone found any good value extra virgin in larger volumes? I'd like to try out some of Italian deep fry recipes but would like to find a good value oil since I am assuming it will not last for very many uses.
  16. Here is another online source for those looking for mole recipes. I've only made the first one which was very good but there is a Poblano recipe and some Yellow, Green, Oaxacan, etc. that look interesting as well. http://www.ramekins.com/mole/recipesmole.html Nathan
  17. Since you are a Batali fan why not try his dad's Guanciale? I've been contemplating ordering some but I would gladly let you be the guinea pig on this . They are selling it in .5 to 1.5 lb sizes at $11/lb. http://www.salumicuredmeats.com/ Great thread- It has been very motivating and has had me searching my local library to check out the books you have referenced. Nathan
  18. Your food continues to look great Guppymo. I made Cha Gio, the fried vietnamese spring rolls, last night (using the recipe from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet) and had a problem. I had air bubbles popping up on the top side of the roll causing them to float and with the bubble on top they refused to flip over making even cooking difficult. I would be curious to hear thoughts on the cause of this. I am guessing that either they were not rolled tight enough or the wrappers needed to be moister to better seal. I did notice that the wrappers I had in the house were made from wheat and not rice flour (they look just like the regular rice ones) so thay may have been an issue as well. The end result was good though not up to the better restaurant version I have had. While some of this was due to the above fry problems, I also was not blown away by the filling. Anyone have a better filling recipe? I used: .5 lb ground pork 2 oz diced shrimp 2 shallots very fine brunoise 1 shallot fine dice 2 garlic cloves 1/2 cup fine dice carrot 1 oz cellophane noodles 2 tbsp fish sauce pepper I wonder if the ground pork from my butcher was too lean? Nathan
  19. That soup looks great guppymo, and I like your satay beard as well (at least I think that is what you are holding). Do you know what the traditional meats are in Bun Bo Hue. I always assumed it was an all beef soup but the last bowl I had (at Com Tam Thanh in San Jose, CA) included a slice of pork shank, some congealed blood I assume from a pig, and a mystery white 'sausage' . The other Vietnamese soup I am getting into lately is Bun Rieu (i think) a rice noodle soup with a pounded crab chunky meatball like thing, tomatoes and fried tofu. THe last place I tried it also gave me a nice side of shrimp paste and roasted chile paste to add to the soup. This was my first experience with shrimp paste and it really added an interesting depth of flavor and was not as overpowering as I expected. Since your soup looks so good and you are a good photographer, how about giving us a vietnamese soup lesson with step by step photos. I am sure I am not the only one here who would like to see this. Nathan
  20. I'm another wokshop.com customer. The owner is great to chat with (at least in the shop) and I am quite happy with the cast iron wok I purchased. Unlike a Lodge iron pan this is extremely thin and light. I am using it on an electric stove and the rounded bottom seems to fit perfectly in the center of the heating element. I am not using a wok ring and while it is not stable enough to deep fry in, it is fine for stir frying and I never feel like it is going to tip.
  21. Don't forget the all important bartender participation in this drink. For a 'good' version the bartender must jump up on to the bar and shake the patrons head while the drink sloshes around and coats the victims mouth for a true cement mixer experience. At least that is what I saw in Boston in my collegiate days of the early 90's. Nathan
  22. I first discovered egullet in a search for jerk The thread I found is http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST&f=3&t=19276& Davids recipe worked well for me. Nathan
  23. I would be curious to learn what people consider the optimal bread to meat ratio is?? Following the idea that meatballs are a food of poverty with the bread being to extend the meat, not just to bind it, I have been experimenting with ratios up to about 40% bread- milk soaked and torn or lightly pulsed. The results have been good- very tender and flavorfull. I fry in EVOO and tend to use a blend of at least pork and beef and sometimes veal. Nathan
  24. I dropped in to Miss Saigon for lunch today based upon Andreas's rec above. The only thing she got wrong was that there were actually 8 courses of fish! Fish Salad, Fresh rolls w/ Fish and an interesting thin milky peanut sauce (this and the previous dish were citrus 'cooked' fish), a combo platter with: cha gio, Fried patties on skewers, sauteed w/ turmeric and dill, sausages wrapped in lot leaves, and simple batter fried filets, and the meal was completed with fish congee. For the middle courses we were provided with rice paper for rolls and a platter w/ lettuce, mint and cilantro. I thought every item was very good and the meal was a great value at $27 for 2 people. The standouts for me were the starting salad and the lot leaf wrapped fish sausage. Han- have you tried this place? Isn't this your area of expertise? Andrea- While it would be hard to pass up another shot at the fish meal I was wondering if anything else on the menu stands out? Nathan I found a MercNews review of Miss Saigon: http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/mercuryn...mel/7380467.htm
  25. Han- Anything else to recomend at Grand Century Mall? I've browsed the food court here but it was after lunch and I just could not find any additional room for a second meal. I have been eating at a little rice plate/bun place called Com Tam Thanh that is in a smaller mall at the corner of Story and McGaughlin. Just had dinner there the other day- rice plate with bean curd skin wrap w/ shrimp, a slice of pork cake and a bbq pork chop. I head over to Lion market a bit from Santa Cruz to shop for Asian ingredients and have enjoyed soup at the center stall in the Lion foodcourt and also like a place called Chao Nguyen that is across the street. ExtraMSG- I visited the Tropicana market based on your write-up and enjoyed it. I skipped the frozen pig heads they had on special but took some decent carnitas, good tortillas from the in-house tortilla factory, great chips, cascabel chiles and some pretty decent frozen pupusas. Also enjoyed the agua frescas at los jarritos. I keep meaning to get down to Watsonville to try El Alteno since it has gotten a few more positive write-ups since yours. Nathan
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