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Everything posted by enthusiast

  1. I'm ready to be shouted down on this - what is the obsession with ground beef? Is it really so interesting? Other than as a petri dish manqué for growing bugs?
  2. from somebody at the bottom of the slope - it would be great to get an overview of what its all about and what you could see from the summit but, importantly, what is relatively easy to incorporate into more "everyday" cooking. Hint at the great heights but concentrate on the practical, achievable stuff. Everyone might admire the convertible on the forecourt but most of us need the station wagon to move the family around.
  3. I'm very interested to know whether all the enthusiastic followers of MC on here are "modernist" in other things: architecture? furniture? design? music (a bit harder that one but i'm thinking more 20th century classical vs Mozart rather than current)? do they go together? or can you be v conservative in everything else but still be excited by the new in cooking? (so far i've only sous vided some steak, some duck, some aspargus and some lamb shoulder. nothing done properly from MC - though all good - but i'm still on vol 1)
  4. er...please sir...please sir...me sir..me you add the cream at the end to stop the cooking. don't you?
  5. KennethT - I have no advice or help to offer. but i am hugely sympathetic - it sounds exactly something i would do.
  6. I just want to say how much I love you guys (and gals). I've been a member since 2003 but rather dropped out of view. Read about Nathan's book somewhere, popped on to here to see what the fuss is about and i am back absolutely hooked by your knoweldge and enhusiasm. And Nathan lurking here answering the questions too - truly amazing. I've bought the book and the sous vide machine all i need now is some time...
  7. Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK - suburbia exemplified. Keen amateur but sadly delusional. I will have to retire to make the most of this but i can't - i have 6 children and i'm only 47...
  8. Don't overlook Elizabeth Street - v close to Sloane Square. it has poilane the bakers, baker and spice and the chocolate society and some nice hats for the girls (philip treacy) (good wine shop too and a deli i can't remember the name of - are they both called jeroboams?) i can recommend the fruit compote at the farmers market. you will of course be close to Gordon Ramsay - the best restaurant in London by a distance (imho) [damn just got chocolate society truffle over the keyboard!) waitrose in the Kings Road is the best supermarket
  9. you are coming very close to committing a criminal offence...
  10. while i think Verbena-NZ is perhaps a little too dogmatic - green beans, cooked, refreshed and when you'r ready reheated in a little water and butter seem the better for it to me - i agree with the sentiment about keeping your guests waiting. My first marriage really ended when my ex-wife came down to eat dinner from her study where she had been working, ate the first course and then asked if there was going to be a gap before the main course. i said about ten minutes, and she promptly got up and went back to work, saying call me when its ready...annoyingly i persevered for another six years!
  11. can't compete on the typically amazing knowledge already displayed here but may i add a couple of things: in Venice, try adjusting your clocks and getting up at dawn - you can wander round this most extraordinary place in relative peace and if, say, you want to look orund the Doge's palace you can arrive there just before it opens and get a chance to see it sans crowds. go to bed early, the place dies at 8-9pm if not earlier Siena is the most perfect place and utterly unmissable. don't know where you are on culture but you can get a bit sick of yet another madonna con bambino. in San Gimignano, slightly touristy but great place near Siena there are two must sees: the fresco on the left hand wall of the main cathedral depicting the last judgement - very refreshingly horrible, though not meant to put you off your food! and, at the extremity of the town, a most serene monastery which the tourists tend not to get to with some beautiful frescoes and a splendid cloister, St Agostino - perfect for a quick nap after a good lunch and before a serious dinner.
  12. if it can't take the heat, it don't deliver the sear
  13. enthusiast

    Wine List Mix-ups

    was that the Canteen in Chelsea harbour? very funny story about that place. a colleague of mine was asked by another colleague who worked in a different department if she wanted to have lunch to catch up on work things. she agreed and suggested the canteen. she duly crossed the road to the staff canteen and he got in a taxi to Chelsea harbour 45 minutes away!
  14. i hear she might be getting a deal here in the UK too, which would be amazing since nobody's heard of Julia let alone Julie. or is it the other way round?
  15. completley unprofessional reply, but based on experience - i frequently have the potatoes cooked say 20-30 minutes before eating time (not necessarily on purpose either!). i find the best thing is to drain the potatoes and mash them. leave them with the lid ajar (the steam gets out and you want them to dry a bit). and then just before serving beat in the two tons of butter, warm milk, nutmeg etc. yum yum.
  16. enthusiast


    one of my favourites - simple and unbeatable - fried egg, on ham on bread (plus seasoning/mustard/butter). (I first came across it in Holland where it is called "uitsmijter".) I never tire of this variation on bacon and eggs. could easily eat a whole ham.
  17. i go out for a deux irregulalry with friends and siblings. some times one treats another, sometimes we halve it. halving is much much better - frequently you can't remember who paid last time or one time is quite frugal another expansive. once you get into bigger numbers of people there is little choice but to split it multi ways - no one seems to carry (enough) cash and unless one person is paying and collecting from everybody in cash there is little alternative. as for tipping - i think there is a small element of social competitiveness - if we are all presented with the same open credit card slip, i would be embarrased (unless there was good cause) to be the one who had rounded up least, even if no one else actually found out. and from the restaurant point of view - either you should be happy having people dining in your restaurant and paying or you should get out of the business. simple.
  18. i don't get that at all. i'm not a St john man - can't get my mind round quails' heads and fried tripe - but how can anyone who likes food not go for lobster, caviar, scallops or foie gras???????????????
  19. an utterly impertinent question, but relevant i think to the discussion: how old are you oldschooltie? "meaning to go for 20 years" gives a clue but not enough. my impression reading this thread is that i would be tempted to go having previously written it off as too old hat - if the quality is so good, who cares about innovation, as long as you know what you're goign for? just 40
  20. i don't think a francophobe would have got to his position. he's clearly gone native.
  21. i was making some onion marmalade from Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and Other Stories - as he says you might as well make double as much as you need because it can go with anything. and the amount of salt is listed in the ingredients as 1.5 tsp. looking at it now it is obviously teaspoons but at the time i was convinced it was tablespoons (why bother to list it otherwise?). there is no way out from such a mistake...
  22. i was being lazy - when i said plumbing i meant you needed to build a flue. as for the flat tops - you are right, the problem is that they lose heat very quickly (and the oven temperature goes down too). i believe the answer is that you are not meant to use them as hobs at all, everything is meant to be cooked in the oven, the flat top is used just for browning and bringing things to the boil. i also don't like the way you can't smell things in the ovens - very easy to forget the rice pudding left in the bottom!! [my partner tells me i should add that my experience of cooking on AGAs is with my ex-in-laws (saw way too much of them and always did the cooking!) and the 4 oven AGA there was about 30 years old. She likes AGAs but her arguments are very flimsy - "its like having another sweet person in the house...it makes great toast(?!)...it even does the ironing."]
  23. the faddish end of it will die very quickly because it adds nothing but the genuine thing is here to stay. if the point of the kitchen table is that it is for enthusiasts and the kitchen reponds to that enthusiasm with something new/special/different as described above then both parties are getting something out of it and it should thrive.
  24. pentole are wonderful - even washing them up is enjoyable. i even posted a picture of my pentole stock pot on the eGCI stock pages - its a pin up. on the one oven/two oven thing, one big oven and you can roast say chicken and potatoes at the same time and put the crumble in while you're eating the chicken. the question is where do you warm the plates? AGAs are very expensive and need plumbing in and i loathe the lack of control on the top (you have to have separate hobs really) but i don't agree about the size of the ovens - they are very deep and you can certainly fit a huge turkey in one. i was never allowed scaletrix but i did buy myself a remote control helicopter. minutes of endless fun.
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