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  1. When you read that a place is a Good Food Guide “cooking 3” and does three courses for £21.50 and throws in a bottle of house wine between the two of you, then you have to get in the car and go give it a try. Unfortunately the wine offer doesn’t run on a Saturday night but that was the only real disappointment of tonight’s meal. It’s a small shop-front place with a few tables on the ground floor and a few more in the cellar. If I have a criticism, then it is that it gets damned hot in the cellar. Serving staff are young, friendly and good at their jobs, keeping a ready eye open for what’s happening on each table. The menu offers half a dozen or so choices at each course and, whilst you can certainly pick a good meal at no extra charge, a goodly number of dishes carry supplements (but usually only a couple of quid). My wife opened the evening with a very reasonably priced glass of house champagne (£5) and we nibbled on some homemade bread and aioli. Then she got stuck in to what was probably the best dish of the night. A disc of well flavoured black pudding sat on another disc of fondant potato, a Granny Smith sauce cutting through the richness. Nothing spectacular here – just good ingredients, cooked well. She followed this with a rump steak, sauté potatoes, the crispiest tastiest onion rings you’ll ever want to find and a peppercorn sauce. Yes, of course it was a bit 1980s, but it was good eating. I had a fishcake to start – good balance of potato and what I think was haddock. The surrounding sauce packed a punch – oil, capers, cornichons, samphire. I liked this. Less successful was my main – British rose veal served with pasta and a tomato sauce. Veal was fine (and I was pleased to see it on a menu); pasta was nicely al dente; sauce was mediocre. A little dish of mixed veg was also served. For dessert I had a vanilla pannacotta which sat on a shortbread. Good dish – the vanilla definitely in evidence. The other dessert was homemade ice cream – vanilla and orange, served with a chocolate sauce – which was pretty good. Espresso was served hot and strong and was a good end to the meal. It had all been worth the 50 minute drive – if it was closer to home, we’d be in there every month.
  2. I just found sriracha peas from a company that makes the wasabi peas, at Target. Anyone tried? I am a huge fan of sriracha and am blown away these things are amazing!
  3. I decided to check on the pickles that I have fermenting away in the closet for the past 10 days. I cut one open and found it hollow! I thought this might be a fluke, so I tried another and same thing. I would assume that this might have to do with the fact that the brine is drawing fluid out of the pickle, but will this eventually correct itself? Thanks, Dan
  4. Does anyone have a line on Mustard essence? I need it to make Mostarda and I have called everone.
  5. Today I picked up a package of Thai preserved mustard greens at a small Asian (Vietnamese, Thai, Philippine) market here. Initially the idea was to use them as a simple side, so I asked some of the employees if I needed to cook them since another similar package indicated it had to be cooked. They asked what I was going to do with it, and said to use it as a side to just rinse it with water. Their answer suggested their are a number of other uses for the preserved mustard greens hot or in other preparations or dishes. Would appreciate it if anyone can tell me what kinds of things to do with them.
  6. I just received a whole pickled herring. (As a substitute for a dozen Oreo cookies. Yes, you should boggle.) I love pickled herring, but I've never encountered it 'en situ', as it were. I have the "what to eat with it" part handled. (I'll be making bagels tomorrow.) What's the right thing to do with this? Cut across the spine, into mini-steaks? Filets Help me, eGulleteers, you're my only hope!
  7. OK, I know they're considered a delicacy, and their season is now, so how do I go about pickling spruce tips? I have an enormous spruce tree in front of my house, but I'm not sure what variety it is. Do they need to come from a particular type of spruce? What goes into the pickling liquid? Do I pour it over the spruce tips while it's hot, or do I cool it first?
  8. Does anyone know where I can purchase Chinese Ketchup, specifically the Lee Kum Kee brand? I've looked online not luck. E-mailed Lee Kum Kee, no response.Or maybe a comparable brand. I can't stand the "American ketchup" in Chinese dishes. I've been using tomato puree, recommend in a cookbook. Which works well, but I'd like to try using Chinese ketchup if possible. Jen Lin-Liu recommended it in her book Server the People. I don't use it in Sweet & Sour dishes, but some other dishes such as Sichuan Chile Prawns/Shrimp. I find it adds color and some thickness to the sauce more than flavor, at least the Tomato Puree does. I might go to NYC in a few weeks so I might try searching there in China-Town. Thanks.
  9. In the German market in Los Angeles (Alpine Village in Torrance) I spied some bottles that had the word Heinz on them and ran over. They looked like this. I was in a rush and did not make notes on the types they stocked or the prices. Anyone seen and tried these?
  10. Our local Deli has a lovely coarse grain mustard on the table. It is quite mild and very flavorful. I do not remember the brand but it is similar to Savol. I tried an internet search and happened onto a french mustard "sauce" labeled Savora which is lovely and I do recommend it. It is smooth, mild with just a slight hint of sweetness and a lot of wine flavor. Still, I am trying to find the coarse "deli" mustard. terry
  11. Since opening Viajante, Nuno Mendes has turned The Loft from a personal test kitchen to a platform for young chefs (often sous' from big name kitchens) to develop and showcase their ideas. James Knappet is a young English chef with an impressive resume including 18 months at Per Se and 18 months as sous at Noma. I met James at Noma, we bonded over our mutual love for Arsenal, Asian women and Danish pastries and have stayed in touch since. He is currently sous at Marcus Wareing where, according to a recent interview, Wareing seems to rate Knappet highly: Nice sentiments but comparing a recent dinner at MW vs. a dinner that James did at The Loft, I'm not sure that Wareing is the guy to help James get to the next level. James' best dishes at The Loft were on a different level as regards creativity and flavour. Andy Fenn and I joined Nuno, James Lowe from St John Bread & Wine and 10 others for a cracking meal. Food Snob has some good photos here. My favourite dishes were: Duck egg ramson & rye bread Very good dish - slow cooked duck egg with ramson veloute, I'm a sucker for wild garlic. Rabbit "tortillas" A take on tortialls/Peking duck. The rabbits were cooked in cream and then charred on a BBQ and brought to the table whole to be wrapped in tortillas with romesco sauce, strips of aubergine, flaked almonds and coriander. Really delicious. Lamb milk, burrata & dead nettles Beautifully cooked lamb and the sweet dried milk skin was an excellent accompaniment. Excellent dish. "Red velvet" beetroot & liquorice Incredible liquorice ice-cream whipped up in Nuno's Pacojet (every home should have one). Great combination with the beetroot cake and powder. Fenn proclaimed it the best thing he had eaten all year - Fenn's credentials might be a little lacking but that is still saying something. An excellent meal with exciting high points - Knappet is clearly someone to keep an eye on. Serious credit to Nuno too for launching and supporting The Loft concept - its a great opportunity for young chefs.
  12. I'm getting ready to make some jerk pork this week, and though I used to cook jerk quite a bit, I haven't made it in several years (no access to a grill), so I thought I'd try a new recipe. My biggest question so far revolves around soy sauce: most of the "actually Jamaican" recipes I'm seeing call for quite a bit of soy sauce in the marinade (this one, for example), while the Americanized reconstructions tend to omit it (or they seem to use Jay Solomon's recipe). Is soy sauce an authentic ingredient? Anyway: any foolproof jerk pork recipes out there? And no I can't get my hands on pimiento wood to smoke it over (at least I don't think I can).... thanks! mark
  13. You saw the television series and all the trials and tribulations of the prospective pub owners...it has now been open for a few months and I popped in the other week to check it out and make a reservation. They haven't spoiled the interior - on the contrary this really feels like a nice country pub just with a nicer carpet and hopefully nicer food. The menu certainly looks tempting with very reasonable prices, probably because a good section is homemade pasta around the seven quid mark. Now we know the chef who won had won prizes for his pasta so this could be a good bet. Also, there are certainly no frou-frou menu items but just honest food with an italian twist. The best thing of course is that it's only 20 minutes from my house - but I guess I need to wait until I've been at the beginning of April before I know if it really is a good thing. I shall of course report back....
  14. I did a couple searches and only came up with pickle juice and Indian pickles. If there's another thread, sorry, I missed it. I've never actually made a jar of those big honkin' deli-type dill pickles, the kind with lots of garlic and dill. Is there a secret/trick to it? Particular type of cuke you should use? Anyone have any recipes/tips they'd be willing to share? I'd like to try it for the first time this summer (and I'm assuming summer is the season?). Thanks!
  15. In scanning the shelves at my market for a light soy sauce, it struck me that soy sauce prices run about $1 to $4 US per bottle for Chinese soy sauces. That is a rather wide range, so what are the differences among soy sauces? Are there differences in how you might use different soy sauces? Is this a product where you pay for quality, or is there more to it than that? To illustrate my puzzlement: today I chose a Kimlan (Light) marked "Kimlan Sang Chau (Grade A) Soy Sauce". There was another bottle of Kimlan (Light) next to it on the shelf, and the only difference was the "Grade A". Same price -- $2.49 US. Are there subtleties, such as there are for wine, coffee and tea? Or is it less complex? Also, are there differences between soy sauces made in China and Japan or other Asian countries? Where else are they made?
  16. We've had a couple of "favorite condiment" topics in the past (here and here). I was hoping we could try something a little different. I'm thinking not about favorite condiments, but about learning about the condiments of different nations and cultures the world over. I've been noticing more and more imported condiments available here in the US, but there are so many hundreds of them I have no idea where to start. So, if you're from an interesting place, or even an uninteresting place, please give us a glimpse of your local condiment culture.
  17. Ingredients : brown sugar, butter, chocolate, flour, honey, mustard, olive oil, other, etc. This is one of a series of compendia that seeks to provide information available in prior topics on eGullet forums. Please feel free to add links to additional topics or posts or to add suggestions. Brown sugar/Cassonade Butter Chocolate Flour, baking powder, baking soda, etc Honey Mustard Olive oil Other cooking/baking ingredients
  18. Reductive Reasoning Reductive Reasoning Getting to the bottom of 'reduction' problems in screwcap wines By Jamie Goode From Wines & Vines, 08/01/2007 Click On Me This is a great read...take your time and think about it real hard...Jamie does a great job explaining the problem...enjoy!!!
  19. I've been buying Smucker's and used to use Polaner's fruit-sweetened strawberry jam. These, of course, are not overly sweet, since there's no processed sugar or corn syrup, but the strawberry taste is too muted. Any recommendations? Thanks.
  20. Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index. This time, we're focusing on pickles. Pickling is a preservation method that uses vinegar or a brine and versions of pickled vegetables, fruit, fish and meat can be found throughout the world. Whether you've wanted to try your hand at tsukemono (Japanese pickles), kimchi (Korean), Moroccan preserved lemons, pickled watermelon, good old kosher dills, or any other pickle, now is the time to do it! There are no restrictions here - let's talk about refrigerator versus 'canning' in a hot water bath. Let's argue the merits of vinegar versus salt. Whatever we do, let's help me figure out how to make my grandmother's dill pickles! There are a few topics on pickles/pickling, including a topic about half and full sours, one on pickle terminology, this topic looked for perfect pickle preparations, and this one introduced a new, quick pickling technique, and most recently, we've had some pickle chat in the Cradle of Flavor cooking topic. If that's not enough inspiration for you, reading Fruit of the Brine, a Tangy Memoir may be just the trick. And don't forget to check the 13 recipes in RecipeGullet! One last thing. If, like me, you haven't pickled anything since you were five, I've asked for and received a few book recommendations: Quick Pickles by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby Ball Blue Book of Preserving The New Preserves : Pickles, Jams, and Jellies by Anne V. Nelson Pickled: Vegetables, Fruits, Roots, More--Preserving a World of Tastes and Traditions by Lucy Norris and Elizabeth Watt Who's in?
  21. Over in the Pennsylvania board, I report on a discovery I made at DiBruno's in the Italian Market today: Jamón Iberico is now available in Philadelphia. I'm assuming that this means that you can now find it in a handful of other U.S. cities. I had understood that Federal rules prohibited its import. What has changed, pray tell? At the price being charged for it, it's going to be the rare treat indeed.
  22. Hi everyone, First off, I'm sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong board....I didn't know where to put it, and since the gala occurs in NYC, I figured that was my best bet. I've always been really curious about going to the James Beard Awards Gala, simply because the menu of offered dishes always look quite incredible. However, as I've never been, I have no idea if its actually worth the hefty price tag (even as a student the price is still $200!). Is the food nearly as good as it would be in the actual restaurants, or is it dumbed down/simplified so that it can be mass produced and served to 1000s of people without getting cold? If anyone has been to the banquet in the past, I would greatly appreciate his/her input. Many thanks! My best, Charlie
  23. Britain has gone into overdrive trying to impress Obama. After the gift giving debacle (Gordon Brown gives Obama fancy historical ancient pen signifying eternal friendship, he gives Brown DVDs that might not even work in a European player) and the 2007 incident where he stated that he doesn't like British food, Jamie Oliver has been brought in to cook British food only and make Obama like it, dammit. To that end the menu for the big G20 dinner is as follows: Starter: Organic Scottish salmon with samphire and sea kale, and a selection of vegetables from Sussex, Surrey and Kent. Main course: Slow-roasted shoulder of Elwy Valley lamb with Jersey Royals, wild mushrooms and mint sauce. Dessert: Bakewell tart and custard. Vegetarian option: Goat's cheese starter followed by lovage and potato dumplings for the main course. What do you all think? Obviously he had some restrictions - e.g. no pork because there are 3 leaders of Muslim countries at the table. The newspapers (well, the Guardian) is going into overdrive trying to anticipate Obama's response. Also, the charm offensive isn't limited to food - they've sat Michelle Obama next to JK Rowling in an attempt to earn the Obamas' affection. Personally, I think the vegetarian options are a bit sad and uninspired. Also that Bakewell tart better be good because if it's not, it's going to be awful.
  24. ned

    Pickled eggs

    I am quite fond of pickles and adore eggs, however until two nights ago when I ate one that tasted strongly of red wine vinegar at a fine new NYC restaurant called Stand, I'd never eaten a pickled egg. The eating of it has motivated me to pickle some of my own. What I know so far: the base for the cure is salt, sugar, vinegar the duration is 2 days to 3 weeks I'd love to hear how people pickles theirs and in addition of experiences people have had in eating them in midwest bars or elsewhere.
  25. Pictorial Recipe Baked Soy Sauce Chicken (豉油焗雞) I have made regular soy sauce chicken many times. The traditional recipe is to boil the chicken in soy sauce mixed with rock sugar and spices. Today I want to try something new - how about baking the chicken after marinating it in soy sauce? The procedure is very similar to the "Nam Yu Roast Chicken" I published earlier. The difference? This time I used only dark soy sauce as the marinade. Serving Suggestion: 4 - 5 Preparations: Main ingredients (upper right, clockwise): - 1 whole chicken, about 4 lb - some star anises (see below) - Lee Kum Kee "Chinese Marinade" (see below) - Dark Soy Sauce (see below) Dry rub: - 4 whole star anises - 1 tsp of salt - 1/2 tsp of five spice powder Marinade for chicken: - 4 tblsp of dark soy sauce - 2 tblsp of Lee Kum Kee "Chinese Marinade" - 1/2 tsp of salt Basting mixture: - 2 tsp of dark soy sauce - 3 tsp of honey - 2 tsp of water Optional condiment: - 3 stalks of green onions (finely chopped) - 2 inches of ginger (grated) - 1/2 tsp of salt - 1 tsp of sugar - 3 tblsp of cooking oil Use a food mallet to break up the star anises into small fragments. Place them in a small bowl. Mix them with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of five spice powder. Mix this "dry rub" well. Trim off the extra fat from the chicken. Apply the dry rub ingredients inside the chicken cavity thoroughly. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. To marinate, add: - 4 tblsp of dark soy sauce - 2 tblsp of Lee Kum Kee "Chinese Marinade" - 1/2 tsp of salt Mix and rub the marinade thoroughly over the chicken. Marinate at room temperature for about 2 hours, 1 hour per side. After an hour, turn the chicken over so the bottom would soak up the marinade liquid. After 2 hours of marination, use a big "S" hook to hang up the chicken. Set a small fan at "low" to dry the chicken. Be sure to place a plate underneath to catch the liquid dripping. Hang the chicken for about an hour or so. Cooking Instructions: Put 2 metal skewers through the chicken. Use some special hooks to hang the chicken underneath a rack in the oven. Fill a small baking pan with water and place it underneath the chick to keep the chicken moist during baking (as well as catching the dripping grease). Bake the chicken at 325F for 1.5 hour. This is how the chicken looks after 1.5 hour in the oven. Take the chicken out of the oven to apply the basting mixture. The basting mixture is made of: - 2 tsp of dark soy sauce - 3 tsp of honey - 2 tsp of water Baste the chicken thoroughly with a brush. Return the chicken to the oven and set the temperature to 425F. Continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes to make a crispy, shinny chicken skin. (Optional) Meanwhile, you may make a condiment with: - 3 stalks of green onions (finely chopped) - 2 inches of ginger (grated) - 1/2 tsp of salt - 1 tsp of sugar - 3 tblsp of cooking oil First chop the green onions and grate the ginger and place them in a bowl. Heat up the cooking oil to smoking temperature. Pour the smoking oil onto the green onion and ginger. Finally add the salt and sugar and mix the ingredients well. Finished. Remove the chicken from the oven. Chop up the chicken, Chinese style. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve either with the green onion/ginger mix condiment, or a small dish of dark soy sauce as condiment. The chicken skin is crisp, and the meat remains very moist and tender. Picture of the finished dish.
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