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theabroma

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by theabroma

  1. Having lived in Central Texas for years and having eaten at the Big 3 in Lockhart frequently - Smitty's, Kreuz, and Black's - I just cannot get terribly excited about Lockhart in Davis St in Oak Cliff. It is good, but not fabulous. Pecan Lodge, on the other hand, is killer. I am also a fan of Smoke, also in Oak Cliff.
  2. If you are thinking of deconstructing a tarte au citron, then you would not want to add meringue ... that would be appropriate for a decon of a lemon meringue pie. The cream quenelle is not a direct component of tarte au citron, but it could be argued to be appropriate. The shortbread or sablé cookie or crumble fits, too. Perhaps a candied lemon slice or even candied lemon peel would be an appropriate addition here? Also, you could play around with Maghrebi salt-preserved lemon peel to add a lemon note with an unexpected twist? The saltiness and texture of the peel would fit and contrast nicel
  3. Cacahuate, don't know what your hotel budget might be; however I would recommend the Hotel Majestic on Calle Madero right on the Plaza Mayor. It is directly across from the Palacio Nacional, just south of the Metropolitan Cathedral, and catty-cornered from the Templo Mayor and it is very close to Mercado Merced. The Fundacion Herdez is there, the Museo del Templo Mayor, lots of restaurants, Churreria El Moro is close, etc. The concierges at the Majestic can get you guides - not culinary guides - if you want. It can be a noisy spot if there are demonstrations or protests going on, and too e
  4. Think about this a moment: cold caramel? only with titanium jaw implants.
  5. Souffleed omelette? Curds? Bombes? French buttercreams? Huevos Reales? Does it have to be from the sweet kitchen? If no, oeufs en gelee? Omelettes? Brouillard? Fettuccini alla carbonara? Homage to the Southern picnic: devilled eggs? Or that fine, fine lily-gilding of Persian chelo: ultra long grain rice (dom siah or ambar du) with crusty, crunchy tah dig, and crowned with butter, sumaq, and raw egg yolk? Sorry, would propose more things, but I'm off to find my own fresh eggs! Theabroma
  6. To me they are one of those "vanilla ice-cream" sorts of desserts/pastries: very few ingredients which must be of excellent quality, preferably all freshly made in-house, where there is really nowhere to hide the flaws under "cutting-edge" flavors and treatments. Shatteringly crisp choux, vanilla ice cream that has a softness to it - not "gently" thawed prior to scooping, and an unctuous, yet still fluid chocolate sauce. To be at their best in a restaurant - and likely at home as well - they should, practically, if not literally, be prepared tableside for instant service. Otherwise, the choux
  7. If you have access to DVD's of Jacques Torres' "Passion for Chocolate" series, you'll find that he periodically makes use of small binder clips from the office supply to hold things together. Also, he is the undisputed King of the Hardware Store, having multiple uses for all sorts of construction materials - from plasterer's lath to galvanized metal ducts. So, likely he would get a section of appropriately sized PVC pipe, roll the chocolate covered acetate, and insert it into the pipe section until it has cooled. Withdraw the acetate, et voila. You can also use the cardboard tube cores of
  8. Tomate de milpa is how that variety of tomate de cascara, tomatillo, or tomate verde is also referred to. They were traditionally grown as part of the cornfield symphony, together with beans and squashes. Regards, Theabroma
  9. Gorgeous cake, that! With the curd fillings, have you considered piping a thick ring of mousseline buttercream, etc. around the edge of each layer as a dam? Also, you could then put a crumb coat of the curd all over the cake and then drape it with ultra-thin marzipan - which can be tinted, airbrushed, crimped, etc. to your heart's delight. It is far tastier than rolled fondant, creates the same porcelain-like finish, and will armor the cake against the elements. I would suggest, though, that the cake be given one heck of a deep refrigeration prior to putting it out. Regards, Theabroma
  10. You may want to 86 the onions, pick only the LEAVES of the cilantro, and use grated cotija cheese. I am not at all sure about the lime juice, however. I would strip it down to the basics: cilantro (the basil), garlic (ditto), lightly toasted pepitas, and a Spanish olive oil ... or pumpkinseed or avocado oil. Finish it off with finely grated queso cotija (the parm). This is how I make it and have never had problems with bitterness. Curious. I never use citrus in either my basil or cilantro pesto, so I am not sure what the limes are doing there ... lovely as they are, they might be causi
  11. theabroma

    Huitlacoche

    It's botannical name is Ustilago maydis. As far as I know it is the only fungus that affects corn in this fashion, so it is edible. It was known as 'Raven's Shit' to some North American tribes. The name 'huitlacoche' or 'cuitlacoche' is the most common name in Mexico. It is from Nahuatl, the most spoken of the many indigenous languages there. And it's translation means something along the lines of 'Sleeping Excrement of the Lords.' If you can find naturally occurring cuitlacoche on field corn, you are way in luck. A lot of the cuitlacoche that is now grown here arises from the corn being
  12. One of the more entertaining delights of life is to watch the face of a Veracruzano, especially one from around Alvarado, as it is explained to them that people on the west coast batter and fry the fish for the fish tacos. They think that strictly comida de Gringolandia invading Mexico. Never a dull, boring, or less than tasty moment! Regards, Theabroma
  13. Warming it gently will work to soften it a bit through making the oils more liquid. Friction is another option: put it in the mixer and 'cream' it. You may in the end need to press it through a tamis in order to remove the intransigent particles. Depending on the quantity, have you considered making a luxe stueusel, adding it to brioche crumbs and oats, etc. to top a special cobbler or coffee cake? Regards, Theabroma
  14. Perhaps ... unless you're using professional books. However, this does not apply to Beranbaum ... it would take the energy of 3 lifetimes to research measurements like she did. And if you want a detailed explication of why you should measure ... Beranbaum again. But there are people who prefer measurement by eyeball or heft (grandma-trained) or by volume, so unless you are baking for production, it really is your choice. But like any other choice about things of the table or in life, the more knowledge you have about the how's, why's, etc. will lead you to a better choice, and help avert d
  15. Food processor works for me ... as does two good cleavers working side-by-side. It's good to freeze the cubes. One-inch is a good size. And pulse them in small batches. You want the pieces to be of similar size so that the air drying (if you are going to do that) will be uniformly effective. That said, pick a "size" theme and have some variation within that to give texture to the finished sausage. You might also want to check out Diana Kennedy's recipe for chorizo in The Art of Mexican Cooking. I like to get cross-inspiration going between her and Bayless. You can't go wrong on that one
  16. Interesting problem ... I remember the day that I realized why sometimes my bread dough was very soft and other times it was very slack ... using the "same" measuring cups. Weighing is best, and idea that you convert the recipes that you use most frequently to weight measures is an excellent one. There are now many reliable digital scales - and if you want to bust the piggy, an Edlund is really wonderful - so once done, it is a breeze to mix and measure, even in advance. Next, if you have the patience, scan the book from which the recips came and see if they thought to provide info like egg s
  17. Before there were meat grinders .... You might want to consider very roughly chopping the meat. As for poultry, it is best to use thighs as they are fattier and more durable, less prone to drying out and losing flavor. I don't know what to suggest about the fat, however. As much as I love schmaltz, it might just be too liquidy, and raw, chopped poultry fat may well be frightening. Alternatively, I know that there are lamb sausages made in several countries, for example Morocco's beautiful merguez. Though I have never seen lamb chorizo in Mexico, I am thinking that roughly chopped lamb,
  18. Working with limones rellenos de cocada, jamoncillos, camotes, a nd tortitas de Sta Clara ... I am to the point that I can not only smell sugar, I can smell the type ... that's scary
  19. The chocolate de metate is the traditional version of Ibarra, Abuelita, Mayordomo (if you can find it here, etc). The different brands have varying amounts of sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes almonds or even coffee ground up in them. If you are lucky enough to be in a market region in Mexico where they have molinos and grind chocolate, you can customize your mix ... and control the sugar content. That said, Mexican chocolate de mesa is made from toasted, hulled,and ground cacao beans. Of course it won't work for ganache: it is not conched, plus it has actual ground things in it (cinnamon, etc
  20. I am a bit confused by the large amount of yolks/meringue, which should be sufficient to lift this batter, combined with a rather healthy dose of chemical leavener. Have you tried using one method of lift at a time? Perhaps deleting the bp would do the trick? Further to the cake for tres leches: in Mexico the traditional one is a marquesote, which is a sponge cake leavened by whipped egg whites and not baking powder. Rick Bayless' recipe for a tres leches uses - and credits the use of - génoise from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible. He adds finely ground almonds to his. I love génoise fo
  21. Throughout a lot of Mexico it is either Valentina or Valentina Etiqueta Negra, which is the hotter of the two. This is de rigeur at the market stalls, with the street vendors, and, best of all, the street-side potato-chip makers. Usually, if I want smokey, I'll toast up and soak a couple of chipotles or pasillas de Oaxaca, soak them, and puree them with some of the Valentina. It is very low vinegar, so you can adjust the sour level to your tastes. Regards, Theabroma
  22. You want 'Dutch Blue', and since the demise of H. Roth & Sons and Paprikas Weiss, I don't know what to suggest. An Eastern European bakery might be willing to sell you some of their stash. Otherwise a good pastry supplier will have them ... but in larger quantities. Since they have a fairly high oil content, you will want to store them, well-wrapped, in the freezer lest they become stale. That is why you need to purchase them from a supplier or user that turns their stock frequently. Regards, Theabroma
  23. The United Nations has, finally, designated la cocina mexicana as part of the Intangible Patrimony of Humanity. It is to be made official as of August 1st. In the first go-around, in 2005, it was France, fascinatingly enough, who prevented the designation being made at that time: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2010/07/23/declarara-unesco-cocina-mexicana-como-patrimonio-de-la-humanidad Pretty cool ... but we knew it to be true all along,no? Regards, Theabroma
  24. Oops! Take a look at www.laboitecafe.com for photos of the site, their menu, and photos of the shipping container as it began and how it finished up. Carolyn, you might also want to check out the El Naranjo trailer on Rainey street just south of 1st and west of the I-35 southbound frontage road. Chef Ileana de la Vega, who founded and had to close its namesake in Oaxaca due to the political madness there, has a trailer and is converting one of the old Rainey St. homes into a restaurant. Her moles, among other items, are not to be missed. Regards, Theabroma
  25. Ah, yes. Those macarons. But the pistachos would be even more improved with a pistachio buttercream to join them ... I found the dark chocolate ganache wonderful, but a bit muscularly steroidal as it overwhelmed the delicate pistachio. I have never had Gerard Mulot's macarons, but I cannot imagine that these lag far behind. Theabroma
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