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Everything posted by cjsadler

  1. Yeah, this is definitely one of CI's greatest tips ever. I do this everytime now too-- so much cleaner and easier.
  2. Interesting... you never hear anything about this place (including here on eG).
  3. Pearson's just sent out an email-- they have a couple of the wines from the article on sale and open for tasting. CHATEAU VALCOMBE COSTIERES DE NIMES "CUVEE PRESTIGE" 2003 or CHATEAU DE SURVILLE COSTIERES DE NIMES 2003 Reg 14.99 EMAIL PRICE $11.24 . . . your choice while they last. I agree on this one. The regular Campuget is the one Kacher selection I didn't much enjoy.
  4. The food is very mediocre. Eat at Wegman's, then go drink.
  5. I was treated to dinner at BlackSalt last night. The quality of the seafood was incredible. The only times I've had seafood that fresh has been in restaurants right on a coast, where the fish went straight from sea to plate. So it was unfortunate that most of that seafood, which they go to such great lengths to procure (our waiter was telling us a few stories about this), was overwhelmed by the preparations. Raw Oysters Might be the best I've ever had-- so damn fresh. One was 'finished with ocean water', though, which was a bad idea-- all you tasted was brine. Shiitake Mushrooms Morela's right, these were some of the best mushrooms I've had in a long time. Order these. Ipswitch Clams I think my favorite meal of last year was all the fried Ipswitch clams I could eat, courtesy of a former Kinkead's chef. These were even better-- fried absolutely perfectly. However, they were served with a romesco sauce that was very heavy on the smoked pimenton. Dipping the clams in that, you might as well have been eating frozen clam strips for all you could taste of them (I did like the curry aioli that was also served with them, though) Bourride The seafood in the bourride (scallops, salmon, monkfish) was amazing, but it was drowned in a very heavy, fairly flavorless cream broth. I plucked out the seafood and left the broth behind, uneaten. New England Stew Again, outstanding seafood, including Nantucket Bay scallops. And again, overwhelmed by the too much cream and smoked bacon in the broth. We had stopped in for dessert at the bar a few weeks ago. As many have mentioned, the desserts here are very elegantly presented and can be delicious (especially the peanut butter pie). I didn't really enjoy the tiramisu we had last night, though-- it tasted like heavy cream and little else (but nice biscotti). I'll have to give BlackSalt another try soon, especially to try some non-stew entrees. Until then, I'll definitely be shopping at their fish counter.
  6. Just cooked an Italian themed dinner Sat. For antipasti, we made caponata (which tasted much better the next day) and prosciutto wrapped shrimp. For the shrimp, just wrap about part of a slice of prosciutto around the center of each shrimp (preferrably ending the wrap with an end that has fat on it, as this helps it stick). Saute in a bit of oil over med-high heat until the prosciutto is crisped on each side. People love these. Prosciutto smells awful when you're sauteing it, though
  7. We were up from DC to visit someone in Philly for the day on Sun and had dinner at Django. We were able to sneak in since it was during the Super Bowl (Sorry, but what can I say... we're not football fans). Iggles fans on South St. were going nuts. I had a delicious beer and cheddar soup made with Victory Golden Monkey (a great Belgian style brew). A comfort food favorite of mine taken to a whole new level (I forget the name of the cheese used, though). We had trout and grouper for entrees, both nicely done. The hazelnut madeleins my girlfriend had for dessert were perfection (jeez-- if some of my guy friends knew I was off eating madeleins during the super bowl I would never hear the end of it). The apple 'trio' I had was really disappointing. A crisp apple and gelee terrine was just raw apples layered with jelled apple-- sorta reminded me of those old jello molds with fruit suspended in them. The apple-maple sorbet was ok and the third part of the trio, a date-apple cake was boring and dry. We drank some nice Savannah-Chenelle Pinot Noir from CA. No BYOBs in DC, so I love being able to bring a bottle I've been wanting to drink.
  8. Circle Wines in Chevy Chase (on Connecticut) carries a few K. Lynch wines, including Domaine Tempier (Bandol). Edit: oops, wrong street
  9. For some reason, I hadn't been to Cashion's for dinner in probably 3 years, even though I live just down the street. I wasn't that impressed by the ricotta ravioli in Tuscan meat sauce. The meat sauce, with a good bit of cinnamon in it, tasted like Cincinnati chili (but a rich and good one-- it's just not something I particularly like!). The rest of the meal was superb. The whole fried flounder was fried absolutely perfectly and served with a nice lime-chili dipping sauce. And there couldn't have been a better dish to eat in DC with snow falling outside than the osso bucco with truffled polenta. The wine list is nicely selected and fairly priced (except for a couple of the wines by the glass, which I thought were overpriced). The red Burgundy we ended up drinking (can't quite remember the name) was mediocre, though. Verdict: I need visit Cashion's much more often.
  10. cjsadler

    Science of braising

    But won't this cause the rendered fat from the meat to emulsify into the braising liquid, making your eventual sauce too greasy tasting? Just like if you boiled your chicken stock at a high temp?
  11. I've always wondered how the timing of the service of the food to the judges works. Whoever's food is served second will have been sitting around for quite awhile. Do they reheat the food or hold it under a heat lamp, or what? Especially if it's something fried, it's really going to suffer.
  12. I've never understood why the Post didn't do something similar to "The Chef" column in the NY Times. A chef (sometimes local, sometimes not) is profiled over several columns (usually three), with a recipe given and discussed each time. It's always a great read and one reason their food section is better than the Post's. (The current 'Chef' is Laurent Tourondel of BLT Steak). My other suggestion is to find someone talented and give them free reign with a weekly cooking column. The usual Post food section contains a hodgepodge of recipes from random people. It's nice to know and trust a writer's taste. In other words, find the next Mark Bittman.
  13. I become less and less enthusiastic about RW every time, but some friends suggested going to a couple of new places this time around and I bit. This evening was Signatures (Friday is Palette ) and it was a stellar example of RW done right. We were served an amuse of smoked trout salad as our very warm and knowledgeable server described the RW situation. You're free to choose from most everything on the menu, with some obvious exclusions (no Kobe potstickers, 'natch). You've also got an interesting option of choosing three savory courses instead of the usual two and dessert. I opted for the three savory, starting with scallops with a carrot puree. The puree ended up being my favorite of the night and I asked our server if he knew what was in it. He said he'd go check and a couple of minutes later Morou (the chef) came to our table to tell me how to make it. I thought this was a hell of a nice gesture (I mostly expect indifference, if not abuse during RW). My second course was the 'painted bowl', soups of potato and squash together. The potato soup was everything it should be: flavorful without being too rich and creamy. Squash soup wasn't bad, but I guess I'm a bit worn out on it (and I make a mean one ). We all ended up ordering fish as an entree, two of us salmon and the other two waluu. The waluu (a meaty, firm fish) had a seriously good foie gras sauce underneath it (foie gras during RW? ). The salmon had an even better crisped couscous plus African spices and peanuts accompaniment (and a chili-tomato sauce as well). Some of the dessert choices actually looked interesting (as opposed to the usual ice cream or creme brulee for RW). A mascarpone-fig cake that one of us got looked tasty. The friend and I that didn't opt for the dessert course ordered a nicely done cheese plate (Humboldt Fog-- wow... plus two others whose name I forgot). I didn't get a chance to see it, but one of my friends said they have a bar menu that looked good.
  14. Anyone know what the lunch menu at Cafe Mozu is like?
  15. Their Asian Slaw is really, really good. I'd love to know how to make that. Some things on their menu are really delicious (that slaw, oatmeal cookies, french toast, ginger scones) some other things... not so delicious.
  16. This thread inspired me to finally cook from this book. Made the lemon-chocolate caramels for Xmas and had some of the same notes as others: a) It took a really long time to get the post-caramelized mixture to come up to 243 (it was boiling like mad) b) The caramels came out not quite as soft as I would have liked. c) The lemon isn't discernable (but perhaps it contributes to the taste at some level). Still, these were delicious-- I'll have to try them again with a lower final temp.
  17. Calvert Woodley is having a sale on it, including American (scroll down to the bottom).
  18. I had a mac n' cheese awhile ago that was phenomenal-- traditional bechamel method, but done with smoked cheddar. Very nice.
  19. Try John Thorne's "Real Macaroni and Cheese" for something different (unfortunately, his website is currently down). His problem with other Mac and Cheese recipes: "Usually it is their vexatious infatuation with white sauce, a noxious paste of flour-thickened milk, for this dish flavored with a tiny grating of cheese. It is the basis for the familiar crumb-topped casserole baked in a Pyrex lasagna pan, a casserole universally bland, dry, and rubbery. Contrary to popular belief, this is not macaroni and cheese. It is macaroni with cheese sauce. It is awful stuff and every cookbook in which it appears should be thrown out the window. "
  20. Took some friends to Pumpkin as part of a road trip on Saturday (I'm from DC, but am always singing the praises of Philly, especially in regards to the BYOBs). Nice place-- everyone was quite happy with dinner. A gratin of kielbasa (when's the last time you saw that on a menu!), potato and raclette was delicious-- the perfect thing to start with after walking over there in the cold. I sampled a bit of a scallop salad as well. Described as 'scallops with beet vinaigrette', it was actually a salad of spinach and diced beets with a vinaigrette and some very fresh seared scallops on top. For entrees, a couple of us including myself had the whole Branzino, which was grilled perfectly. The veal and pork chops (over French lentils) I tasted were nicely tender and flavorful-- they're obviously getting some high quality meat and seafood here. I'm not sure whether they have a pastry chef yet (I doubt it, as there was only three dessert choices), but we tried a citrus shortbread. Essentially a thick slab of pate sucree baked in a tartlet shell, this took some serious chiseling to break off a bite. Despite the difficulty in eating it, it was fairly tasty, especially with the blood orange sorbet and lemon curd on top. I think the other two desserts were a Vahlrona pot de creme and a blackberry and walnut linzertorte. A frend brought along an unusual wine-- a Petit Verdot from Virginia (AmRhein). It was surprisingly good.
  21. Honolulu Fish. The prices are very reasonable considering they include overnight Fed Ex. There's a 5lb minimum, though.
  22. Never been to Garrett Park before, but we decided to check out Black Market early Sat. The setting for the restaurant couldn't be more quaint-- especially with a train rolling by and the farmer's market going on across the street. We picked up some nice produce and then headed over for brunch. We both ended up having the excellent steak sandwich (with carmelized onions and horseradish mayo) and a side of pepper-jack grits. As mentioned, the 'market' isn't much-- just one shelf of vinegars, mustards and such (plus some baked goods sold at the counter). Looks like they may have a liquor license now (there was a rack of wine near where we were sitting). Will definitely have to head back here for dinner.
  23. Ginger and basil are two good suggestions-- in fact, those may be my favorite flavors of ice cream along with bourbon-vanilla. I was just in Oaxaca, where the ice cream is outrageously good (sorta like gelato, but slightly different texture). Some unusual flavors: Mezcal/Tequila (should've tried this) Burnt Milk (Leche Quemadas-- more like 'smoked' milk... this is an acquired taste) Prickly Pear Cactus (good stuff-- I had a mousse made with it too) Roasted Plantain Canela (Mexican cinnamon-- makes a really good ice cream flavor) Rose Petal
  24. As mentioned, it's not Mexican as you might guess, but vegetarian. The breakfast there is pretty decent (haven't been in awhile, though). A friend of mine used to jokingly call it "Solamente Gringos".
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