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Everything posted by TuWanda

  1. Wait, wait! Is this the one where the schlock that played your husband gets pushed off of an under-construction building by the REAL killer of several women? OMG! I remember that episode! And you! Fine job - I never miss Vincent - Sunday nights I'm there in front of the TV, waiting to see him, crappy script and unlikely story-lines and all. I have a HUGE crush on him! FWIW - and it's been said before, over and over - the last episode was worse than any of the others, and I simply couldn't watch it. I think I saw the first minute, then got bored and went to do some laundry. I came back in when that table of women were licking their waiter (or whatever they were doing) and then I left the room again. I only returned for the last minute, I think. Actually, maybe a minute before the last minute, because I saw them in the Hamptons, saw Laurent playing with his children, and then saw some bitching going on between two girls, and left the room again. I'm truly, truly embarrassed that I wasted any time at all watching this show. It wasn't even one of those "guilty" pleasures, like sneaking a few minutes of Survivor, or watching the BeWitched Marathon on TVLand. The whole thing was pretty bad. I think I can guarantee I won't be watching Rocco Part II if or when it comes out.
  2. I second these choices, especially "Essentials of Italian Cooking". Probably in my top five of most used cookbooks, along with Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni. I think Marcella Hazan's books should be on everyones bookshelf.
  3. That's french buttercream, and I agree - the taste is superior to any buttercream going. But - it's difficult as hell to work with, doesn't hold it's shape very well for piping, and is incredibly temperature sensitive and humidity sensitive. For pure taste, though - french is the best thing ever...
  4. I haven't eaten at Dahlia, but I have eaten at his latest restaurant, Palace Kitchen, and while it was a bit loud (people, not music), the food was fantastic, and I would eat there again in a nano-second. Actually, I'll be in Seattle soon myself and am hoping to have at least one meal at the Dahlia Lounge, besides getting to 727 Pine for at least one meal - hopefully breakfast.
  5. If you need something to hold up well, I second RLB's Neoclassic. It will hold up well to display, and it's simple to make. It's also delicious. Her Mousseline buttercream is also wonderful. It will not hold up to the grasping hands of a 1 year old.
  6. Wow - this post has really gotten interesting now. And the previous posts leads me to a new question - what inspires us to create a dessert? You see a photo of something, you have a sudden urge for something that tastes like your childhood, you smell incredibly ripe peaches at a farmers market? Lesley, I pm'ed you - did you get it? I've never used that feature here before so I don't even know if I did it right...
  7. Absolutely agree. Finest Desserts was the first Roux pastry book I ever owned - I got it primarily because I already had New Classic Cuisine by Albert and Michel Roux. But I fell in love with it the minute I opened it. Then I went back and got their Pastry book because I enjoyed the others so much. Thuries IS dated - absolutely. I have a real love/hate relationship with it. I was required to purchase it in order to attend a series of higher-level french pastry courses (with said Belgian Master PC), but then only used it in those courses as "reference" material on the classics. We never used the formulas, but he insisted that we use the book to model our own creations. What made me so angry was that it was a very, very expensive book, and when you are in culinary school you really don't have $150 to waste on a book you aren't going to get a lot of use out of. I mention it only because, while dated in formulas, it's an excellent book if you want to begin at the beginning and learn how classic french pastry items are composed and assembled, and what the differences between the classics are; the difference between Sacher and Success, etc. IF you are interested in that sort of thing. Other than as a reference, I haven't used the thing, and probably never will. But I still do pull it out when I hear a term I'm not familiar with or when my memory fails.
  8. The Roux Brothers on Pastry is an excellent book - one of my best loved, pure pastry books. But - I'm just not sure it's for a beginner. Their instruction is clear and concise, but I think that I would have been very intimidated by it had I not already had some instruction behind me, and a teacher to guide me. Does anyone else have Finest Desserts by Michel Roux or French Pastry by Yves Thuries? Of the two I prefer Michel Roux's book, but I certainly learned a lot about classic, perfect, precise french pastry technique and design from the Thuries book. Helped me immensely to survive a pastry course with a very tempermental and demanding Belgian CMPC.
  9. Actually, Lesley is Canadian and the main edition of the book was in French. As I understand it, the English lanugage version had limited availability since it was published in Toronto. The ISBN is: 0-7715-7711-7. Thank you. With that information I have a Canadian friend who's a cooking instructor who may be able to find it for me. Hopefully, the English version!
  10. TuWanda

    Beer Can Chicken

    I have not tried this method myself, but I know people who have and they rave about it. It just bothers me, for some reason, to actually purchase a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer But - last night I was watching BBQ Bootcamp with Steven Raichlin on FN, and I'm thinking I may have to give up and try it, just to see what all the fuss is about. I like to brine my chickens (wet or dry) before roasting, but I'm always willing to give something new a try. Here's Raichlin's version. It's probably worth a shot. The ingredients are inexpensive, the technique couldn't be more simple. Beer Can Chicken
  11. She was the horrible waitress everyone was talking about last week, Soba. Remember, the one that couldn't be bothered to learn which forks to give her customers, and would only be nice when she felt like it, etc., etc.? I was happy her little moment in the sun ended on such a colorful note, frankly.
  12. Maybe Understanding Baking by Joseph Amendoula. That was one of my little bibles for a while. Nightscotsman - I tried to look for Lesley Chesterman's book, but alas, none to be found on Amazon or Jessica's Biscuit. It sounds like a great book. You say it's British? Perhaps I can have an English friend of mine get me a copy.
  13. No, you're right. I think I just got carried away. More like "intermediate" books. I think in order to properly use the Star's books you really need to know the basics, since her books assume you do know the basics. Although - I don't really think of the person who began this thread as a beginner really. She obviously has some kitchen time, and I would think she has picked up more baking skills than she is probably aware of. It's hard for me to pin-point a good beginning baking book because I never used one. I found the best thing for a beginner is to watch/learn from someone more experienced. That way you can actually SEE how a genoise should come together, you can SEE what a creme anglais should look like just before it's done, you can WATCH how caramel goes from not done to done in the blink of an eye, you can actually see what a custard looks like when it's finished, and so on. I'm not sure any book does an adequate job with those types of issues that are so visual and tactile. I would still put my money on Baking with Julia, though, I think. The directions in there for Brioche are so good that I know someone who never even baked a single loaf of bread before follow them with good results. That's saying something about the directions. Sinclair, if I see a Stars book for less than $60 I'll post to you. I'm really shocked how expensive they are.
  14. No, I saw him. I was hoping they'd focus more on his table so we could see HIS reaction to crappily prepared food. But - I did catch a remark during a shot of the kitchen - when Rocco went down to scream at them for the second time, it was something about "the guest chef's food was cold" blah-blah-blah so I'm thinking that his table got the same poorly prepared food as the rest of the restaurant.
  15. Despite all my great intentions, I, too, succumbed to the irresistable lure of the television tonight and watched Super-Rocco. I am trying to tell myself that it was a natural progression from watching Criminal Intent (which I never miss because I simply can NOT miss Vincent D'Onofrio, EVER ) to The Rocco Show which is on immediately after, and I didn't have time to turn the channel before - boom! - it was there, and then - well, what was I to do? (Okay, so I probably could have turned the channel, but I like my little delusion better than reality.) I thought - it was pretty awful. I thought we were going to see more of the BOH this week. And while we did see MORE than we usually do, still - it was focused on the FOH and the drama, and the angst, and the woe-is-me crap again. And frankly, I'm even less impressed with Rocco than before. For him to suddenly have an epiphany while rolling meatballs that MAYBE - just MAYBE - a restaurant isn't REALLY about whatever-the-hell-he-thought-it-was-about after all, but about FOOD - GOOD food! OMG! Why ever did he not think of this before?! How COULD he have been so stupid and not REALIZED?!!! People come to a restaurant for GOOD FOOD and therefore, a good restaurant should start in the KITCHEN! Wow - I wanted to smack him with the grill grate. I also wanted to smack him (and nearly turned the television off) when he said, "When people come to Rocco's, they want to see Rocco. So, the most important thing I can do is be with my customers". Really? So - is that why people are complaining about the food and the service and such? I mean, if they get to see YOU they should be happy, right? Seriously, is that the stupidest thing you've ever heard any chef say in your life? I'm really just ... I don't know what I am. Last thought - is it just me, or when they showed action in the back of the house, did it seem slow to anyone else? You know what I mean? Granted, I only worked BOH for a couple of years, and we never did 300 covers except on holidays or if we had a huge banquet, but even on slow nights things moved FAST. Prep was FAST. No one would have rolled meatballs so slow, or made pasta so slow, or chopped things so SLOW as I saw this evening. It was fast, fast, fast - quicker, quicker, quicker. The shots I saw on the BOH were people just poking along. Anyone from Rocco's - is it always like that back there, or do people pick up the pace off camera?
  16. Wow - You may have to wait a long time for that copy of Stars! I just went spelunking through E-Bay, then Half-Price Books to see if I could find a copy for you (I like to shop on-line! ) and I found one! But - WOW! - It's $139.50. For the PAPERBACK!!! I can't believe it!!! That's - just - outrageous! I'm always on the look for some copy of something or other, Sinclair. If I locate a copy of Stars I'll post a message for you with the information. Perhaps I should say - a reasonably priced copy of Stars!
  17. I have not tried Gale Gand's recipes. I thumbed through one or two and they just didn't catch my attention. In the Sweet Kitchen was an odd book, I thought. It does not grace my book shelf, I'm happy to say. Has anyone else ever tried Emily Luchetti's books? She's coming out with another one soon - I will definitely be buying it. I treasure both of the books I do have, Stars and Four Star Desserts. She certainly doesn't teach you method or anything so basic, just some wonderful flavor-pairings and excellent recipes. I've never had a recipe fail from either book.
  18. We have the same mother-in-law. Did she ever make you chili? Two or three cans of Hormel canned chili in a pot, topped with 2 pounds of uncooked ground beef and several cans of water, cooked forever, then served in bowls with a seperate tub of processed potted cheese-food (what is IN that stuff???) to "top" it with? I wish I were joking. My poor husband. The only nice thing that comes out of it is that no matter how bad a disaster I may produce in the kitchen, my husband will eat it and say, "Sweetie, no matter how bad you think it is, it's better than my mother's cooking."
  19. A good Asian combination is ginger, lemongrass and szechuan peppercorns. Absolut vodka, 100 proof, proferably. I love Stoli Doli's - they serve them at a local bar here, too. But I like to use Ketel One instead of the Stolichnya, just because I like the flavor.
  20. I assume the 40% you haven't tried include all of Nick Malgieri's recipes? There's actually quite a few of his recipes in Baking with Julia. I just found this out when I decided to make a Table of Contents for that book so I could get more use out of it. I'm not a fan of NM but I'd like to try his Amaretti when I get a chance to bake. Ever made these? You are correct - I have avoided Chef Malgieri's formulas in that book because of the less than stellar results I got with his How to Bake books. Although - I have a sneaking suspicion that the recipes in BWJ are probably wonderful, given that Dorie Greenspan was the one who edited and put together Baking with Julia. She meticulously tested every recipe so that the instructions were very detailed. I'm betting those sweet little confections of Chef Malgieri work after Dorie took care of the testing and editing. The instructions for making brioche are the best I've ever seen, and then all the recipes taking brioche and making other things - Chef Greenspan did a fabulous job. Don't get me wrong - I've met Chef Malgieri and while I didn't particularly care for him, I have no doubt he's a talented chef. I just think that his books weren't kitchen tested as thoroughly as they could have been, and that whoever edited his book did a fairly poor job. If you are going to write a book called "How to Bake" it should be about HOW TO BAKE, not just a collection of recipes. Ah - but that's a whole other subject
  21. Oh, my. I guess he didn't like it. I'm not even Rocco and I'm cringing over that review. Ouch... Ah, well - I guess when you make a deal with the devil, you eventually have to pay.
  22. Hmmm - I'm really surprised by so many recommendations for Nick Malgieri. I've found his books to be average to poor. I had the feeling that he didn't test his formulas very well. As a matter of fact, I gave the two books I had by him away. I just didn't like them. As for RLB - well, I love The Cake Bible. But - I didn't care for The Pastry Bible very much. Do love her Christmas Cookie book. If you are fairly experienced in the kitchen, you shouldn't need a book that is too uncomplicated. Personally, I think Baking with Julia is one of the best mass-market baking books produced. Dorie Greenspan did a fantastic job editing and coordinating that book. If you follow the directions exactly, you can't mess up; there is plenty of detail. I have made probably 60% of the items in that book and haven't found a single thing that wasn't wonderful. Another book I would recommend is Cocolat by Alice Medrich. One of my most used baking books. She has a section in the back called "building blocks" that is practically a bible of mine. Her instructions are very simple, and her formulas are meticulously tested.
  23. FRAGILE information???!!! Oh, come on! This isn't national security - or even the season finale of Dallas. It's a somewhat lame reality television show that will probably have a shelf-life of about - oh, I'll be generous and say 6 months - after it finishes airing. No reflection on you personally, Gideon, or any of the others in the program, but the program itself simply isn't that special. Fragile information - that is funny!
  24. A little "turnabout is fair play" for Iron Chef, eh? (a show which I happen to love, cheesy-dubbing and all)
  25. Peter, he used that same office in the first episode before they even had a site. I am guessing it's an office of "other and former endeavors"...
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