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cjsadler

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  1. cjsadler

    Tamarind

    I have a related question: a recipe I have lists 'tamarind juice' as an ingredient. Is this reconstituted paste, reconstituted concentrate, or the stuff that's actually sold as tamarind juice (which have sugar in them-- at least the one I see in the Latin store near me)? Or are these three things all different ways of getting to the same point: a sweetened liquid version of tamarind (as most recipes with paste reconstitutions have you add sugar).
  2. cjsadler

    Homemade Chili Oil

    Very dumb question here: I didn't realize there are times you want to bring cooking oils to a simmer. Don't most oils, especially grapeseed, have a very high boiling point? Won't the chilies be completely burnt by the time you get to a simmer?
  3. I was heading to a friend's in Ballston anyway, so I stopped by the Pepin event. Pretty crowded. He spoke for only about 15 minutes or so, but then did Q&A for another 45 minutes. People actually asked some interesting questions. What did he think of El Bulli and it's followers? Thought it was very interesting movement and that they were doing things no one ever would have thought to do before. However, as an aside about 'destination' restaurants in general, he said that good food need not be complicated. "How often have you raved about simple food, saying 'that was the best roast chicken or the best hamburger, etc..'? Good quality ingredients handled well can be the most satisfying thing". Or maybe this was just him getting old, he said. Alot of questions led to some fascinating digressions about cooking in America over the past few decades. He's thrilled with how far grocery stores have come. Said it used to be that you had to go to a specialty store just to get button mushrooms (he remembered going into grocery stores and asking where the mushrooms were and then being directed to the canned goods aisle). Loves the multiculturalism of America and the wide range of available cuisine ("In France, 99% of the people only eat French food"). Said he has a new series coming out on PBS in the Fall: "Fast Food, My Way". Also, he said the best secret in New York is the 5-course dinner at L'Ecole, the French Culinary Institute's restaurant (Pepin is the dean). Price: $30 (!) Asked him where he was eating that night, just out of curiosity. Said he wasn't sure.
  4. Yeah, I made that torte too and it was pretty bad. The brownie recipe is a bust as well. I don't know how either was supposed to be any good with only 2oz of chocolate.
  5. I bought this book when I first decided I was going to start improving my cooking skills awhile ago. Then I fell into volunteering as an assistant at a cooking school, learned my basic skills there and never really opened Bittman's book much. I'm in awe of it as a reference work-- it's quite an accomplishment, but I still never open it much (though I still have alot to learn, that's for sure). Had some shrimp that needed to be used the other night, so I dusted off HTCE to see what ideas Bittman had. Ended up using his Shrimp "My Way", which was fine (However, I was a bit surprised to see the instructions telling you to broil the shrimp as close as possible to the heat source for 5-10 minutes! Yikes.) What good recipes am I missing in HTCE? The one I really like is the simple seviche.
  6. Personally, I would avoid Little Italy on a Friday night, as it tends to be a zoo. The non-fine dining places there aren't much good anyway. Maybe go there after dinner for dessert at Vacarro's (get ready to wait, though) or the small gelateria whose location and name I can't remember. Go to Samos if you're heading to Greektown. Ever been to Attman's for corned beef? Fantastic-- it's near Little Italy (on the strip known as 'corned beef row', though there aren't many other corned beef places left). Not sure what time they close, though. Don't know how much you've checked out in Federal Hill, but what about Sobo (down Cross street) or just hitting the Cross Street Market (for a fat fried fish sandwich and a big beer).
  7. I recently had some tiramisu made with limoncello, which really worked. I'm definitely going to give your recipe a shot, Katie. Thanks for posting it.
  8. Thanks, Carolyn-- this is very useful information. I guess we'll mainly bike Sonoma for fun (perhaps stopping off at a winery on a whim-- I figure I can carry a bottle or two with me) and save the winery touring for when we're driving.
  9. Will be staying in Napa from May 13-16 and we'd like to spend at least one day doing some biking to various wineries. Does anyone have any suggestions on routes, bike rental places, and map books. Looking for a combination of a scenic ride with a cluster of good wineries that we can stop at. We'll have a car, so can get to Sonoma as well.
  10. Found some at the Wegman's in Chantilly in liquid form (which I prefer) for $3.50. It's with the baking stuff. Kinda far for you, though, Heather.
  11. I've experienced these same problems at the Palena bar a couple of times now. Not sure what happens. Long, long, mysterious waits for food (not roast chicken) when it wasn't very crowded. I can't remember if it happened on Mondays or not, though. Things like that don't bother me much, but I'd brought some hungry friends to try the place one night when we had these problems and felt a little embarrassed. Palena handled it extremely well though-- our waiter apologizing and the hostess bringing us a nice bottle of dessert wine later. This was an especially bad night-- I think we waited 45 minutes for the first course and then another 45 minutes for the entrees (again, not roast chicken).
  12. What do they add to the guac at RM that makes it so good (I haven't been) ? I'm looking to do a 'tableside' preparation of my own.
  13. Is it brewed somewhere else, or just gone? Can't imagine it would have the same funky, yet oddly bland flavor brewed somewhere else. It's now brewed by Pabst, so "The Land of Pleasant Living" is now San Antonio, TX. The quality is up to the standards of other fine Pabst products such as Old Style, Colt 45 and St. Ides. They have an incredible graphics department as well:
  14. They didn't mention all the Natty Boh* memorabilia, which is one of the greatest things about the place. It's mixed in with the Elvis stuff. And you drink the margaritas out of hubcabs (with a straw), not eat chips out of them! This place can be fun, but they did get the part about the long wait right (esp these days, with Canton being a popular area). The food is just ok, except for a really good crab dip. *National Bohemian beer. No longer brewed in Baltimore, but still seen often there.
  15. There's two Wharf Rat locations. The original is still there on Ann Street (and that's where you gotta go for "3 for 3"). The Inner Harbor/Camden one sucks in comparison (but the beer is still good).
  16. How about the pre-theater dinner at Cafe Atlantico? Has anyone had it?
  17. Charm City is quite the drinker's paradise. If you get to the Wharf Rat anytime before 7pm, you can experience "3 for 3": three beers for three dollars (home brewed varieties only). It's customary (I think it may even be mandatory) for each person to order their own three beers-- no sharing.
  18. This morning's Express (Wash Post's free rag) has a short bit on it. Describes it as 'all-organic Euro fare' Restaurant downstairs, club upstairs.
  19. The Brewer's Art. Maybe your best option close to Club Charles. They brew really, really good Belgian-style beers, especially "Resurrection". You can go to the dungeon-like basement and just drink the beer or head upstairs where the food is very good (not sure if it's as casual as you want, though). Definitely Faidley's for crab cakes. The best. Get the jumbo-lump, of course. As mentioned, you'll have to go during the day. Peter's Inn is a great local's spot. It's in Fell's Point, up Ann St. Look for the motorcycle. Looks like a dive bar, but the food is great. While you're in Fells Point, go to the Wharf Rat. They usually have a wide selection of the beers they brew on tap, which as hannnah says, are consistently good. The Helmand -- an Afghan restaurant in the Mt. Vernon area. Very good, fairly casual and inexpensive. In the same general vicinity as Club Charles. I hesitate to suggest Martick's to you (it's French, but the quality can be so-so), but it's a Baltimore legend. Go to 214 W. Mulberry St, ring the bell and knock hard on the door (there's no exterior door handle). It can be an odd experience (inside, it's casual, but looks like the place time forgot), but maybe you'll get a story out of it. Steer clear of Little Italy (mostly overpriced and mediocre) and the Inner Harbor.
  20. Down at the east end of the table we drank a couple bottles of Promessa Rosso Salento, which I really like. Several places around town carry it, including Whole Foods. For about $10 a bottle it's a steal, as is the same producer's Amano Primitivo. They're made by a guy from California who moved to Apulia to make wine. Great meeting everyone.
  21. Borrowing someone's internet connection, as my cable is down. So real quick: 6'2", age 32, male, light brown hair, DC native, obsessed with food... will be wearing a brown corduroy jacket. I've met a couple of you before, so hopefully I'll be recognized!
  22. I meant to post a review of the Paula Wolfert dinner at the London Grill, which we came up from DC for. Five courses for $65, all from 'The Slow Med Kitchen'. Not sure I have some of the dishes properly named (my girlfriend is the one with the cookbook). Assortment of Tapenades All were very good, but disappointing there wasn't a bit more. Four small crostinis, each topped with different spreads. There were four of us and we all wanted to sample each one, so we cut them into very tiny, tiny quarters. Spicy Chickpea Soup This was incredibly delicious and I can't wait to find some veal bones to make it. A veal stock with chickpeas, harissa, croutons and a poached egg, which we were instructed to break up in order to 'bring the soup together' Monkfish and Clams in Burnt Garlic Sauce A medallion of monkfish with a two clams with a bit of rich seafood reduction. Very nice. For the main entree, I had Pork with Orange Beans. Slow cooked pork, together with cannelini beans and orange. Good flavors, but it was a bit dry. My girlfriend had a beautiful Lamb Shank with a Chocolate-Almond Piccada. Another dish I'm anxious to try and replicate. One of our friends had the duck breast, which I didn't get to sample. We were served a communal side of nicely roasted asparagus with oyster mushrooms. Canneles de Bordeaux Parisian street snacks that make me want to buy canneles molds. Kinda like the best profiterole you've ever had. Served on a bed of a creme anglese type sauce. Got to meet Paula, who was making her way from table to table, kindly taking time to chat with diners.
  23. I was told that Rodman's carries them. Haven't checked it out myself, though.
  24. I was there this past Restaurant Week for lunch and they said the RW lunch special was likely going to be available all year. It included the excellent onglet that I'd like to have again. Is it the RW carry-over menu you had? Or was it a "grizzled restaurant veteran" special tasting menu?
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