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  1. I know you do not need to refrigerate the full bone but I have a quarter pound of slices and it feels weird to leave it out. Is it ok to keep it in the fridge? Thanks.
  2. As has been widely reported in the Vancouver media James Barber passed away at his home in Vancouver Island a few days ago. I wanted to pay tribute to the man as he is one of the giants on the food scene in Vancouver and as often happens to those who live a long life their accomplishments can tend to fade from memory. There is so much more to James then Money's Mushrooms or the Urban Peasant. I won't pretend to give a bio on his life as I have not been acquainted with his professional career for that long but I first became aware of his talent when I moved to Vancouver in the mid 80's. At the time he was writing the restaurant column for the Georgia Straight (for which he won national awards) and his weekly offerings were nothing short of brilliant as he combined a lovely turn of phrase with hands down the most informed food knowledge of the era. It was a pleasure to discover little out of the way ethnic restaurants that were described in loving detail and with obvious knowledge of the cuisines. This was in stark contrast to the pompous and mainstream food reporting of the time. What has struck me most about James as I've crossed his path over the years in some Asian market, charity auction or restaurant is his pure and unadulterated love of all things food and wine. He really was the foodie's foodie. He would talk to anyone who approached him with a question about food or restaurants with unbridled enthusiasm and an absolute lack of ego (so refreshing and rare). I ran into him one day on the street a few years back and he hauled me over to his car to show me this brand new gadget he had found at Lee Valley. It was one of the very first Micro Plane graters. He pulled out a lemon and started zesting away with real excitement at his find. His success in later years (at a time when most of us would have been in a rest home) with his Urban Peasant tv show, his columns in Van Mag, a new cookbook (along with his tireless support of many good causes) is a nice cap to a well lived life. My condolences to his wife (and fellow food and wine expert) Christina Burridge .
  3. My wife and I were watching a recent tv show (I think it was Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, but could have been No Reservations (Tony Bourdain)) where the person was in Hong Kong. In one scene, they showed someone making soy sauce noodles, which gave my wife a serious Proustian moment as she grew up in HK and misses it badly. Ever since then, she's been craving this dish. And, I have no idea what how to go about making this for her. From what I can tell, the dish seems to be just egg noodles, soy sauce, and bean sprouts. They're all stir fried on high heat. That's it. Clearly, there must be something more to this. Is it just soy sauce or some special blend of things? Garlic? Onion? I pretty much know that the "secret" is going to be in the frying part, but I'd at least like to have a small chance of recreating this by knowing what to put in the dish. So, I turn to the great masses of eGullet and ask: does anyone know what this dish is? And, can you please help me figure out how to recreate it?
  4. I picked up some cooked squid from a local Korean market. It said it was boiled. One squid was packaged and came in at just under a pound. It was sliced in 1/4 inch rings and the tentacles were packed as well (almost like small octopi legs) It was firm but not overly chewy. The sauce in the small container packed alongside was the standard hot pepper paste with added sugar and sesame oil - very thick and sweet. If this is a standard item, how is it served? It seems like a great snack with cocktails. I have been eating it cold or letting it come to room temp. It is chewy enough that I can't really wrap it in shiso with rice. Thanks for any input.
  5. Following Chris Hennes's wonderful tour of Rick Bayless's "Fiesta At Rick's" - under his "Camarónes a la Diabla" post, he notes: "... though Bayless suggests Tamazula hot sauce, and I used Valentina. The hot sauce makes up a very large percentage of the final sauce, so choose... wisely". Bayless also suggests Tamazula hot sauce for the shrimp/octopus cocktail as well. I just bought a 34 oz. bottle of Valentina for 98¢ (on sale) at my local Mex market. Although they also carry Tamazula, it's only in a small size, which indicates that Valentina is much more popular. Both are made by the same company (Tamazula), and the ingredient lists are the same. Does anyone know what their difference is? And while we're at it, how do the other popular hot sauces compare, such as Cholula and Tapatío?
  6. I am looking for a roadside shack type place with a lot of rustic charm which makes great jambalaya or gumbo to shoot a short video at. Must be within short driving distance from New Orleans since we'll be there shooting other stuff. Any ideas please???
  7. Okay, I've been seen a lot of tomato jam type recipes lately and have made a compote and bought a jam. They were both so sweet, but also a little savory and the tomato taste is still very much present. At a loss as to what to do with them. The only thing I can come up with is maybe as part of a cheese plate or as a cheaper version, served with some cream cheese and crackers. To me its too sweet to serve as a type of chutney with meat, but too tomatoey to put on toast. Hmmm... is it just me or is there something else to use it for?
  8. Just read that marco pierre white doesn't think that jaime oliver is a "real" chef because he hasn't earned any michelen stars. I think it's crap, but maybe I'm wrong. What does is it take to be a "chef"?
  9. Pumpkin Preserves These things are delicious. They're made the same way Eggplant Preserves are made. We used the lighter colored flesh of white pumpkins so that the end product is not too dark. Peel and cut pumpkin into small pieces and soak overnight in a solution of water and pickling lime. Use 1 cup lime per liter of water. Make enough to cover the pumpkin pieces. Use a plate to keep them submerged. Recommended pickling lime, can be found at Kroger. Rinse the pumpkin pieces thoroughly two to three times. Squeeze every piece by hand to get rid of excess moisture. In a pot, add 1 kilo water (1 liter), 1 kilo sugar, 1 T lemon juice and 5 Cloves for every kilo of pumpkin. Bring the syrup to a simmer then add the pumpkin. Simmer for 2.5 hours. Let cool and place in jars, distribute syrup evenly among them.
  10. I am doing an eGullet food blog over here and would love some input on using mustard seeds with cauliflower. I want to keep things simple and was thinking of tossing the sliced cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and mustard seeds (black, white?)- would they need to be toasted first? I plan on a hot 425F oven. I know this is not a standard Indian prep but I thought cooks familiar with Indian preps would be the most knowledgeable about mustard.
  11. I'm planning a bbq in a couple of weeks where I'll be serving homemade Vietnamese coffee ice cream along with some sort of ginger cookies. I'm trying to think of a tasty and unique way to incorporate Sriracha in maybe a caramel sauce, or a candied nut...something of that nature that can go over the ice cream. Any ideas or experience with this?
  12. Quick question here - My potato salad recipe for this weekend begins with roasted new potatoes and a mayo/sriracha dressing. Trying to think of what to add from there without including the normal hard boiled egg, celery, etc..... Blanched/chopped fresh green beans...pickled asparagus....I know some obvious and delicious stuff is escaping me here..... IDEAS?
  13. Yesterday afternoon I happened to catch the Oprah show and Jamie Oliver was the guest. The topic was Jamie's new show, "Food Revolution," which debuted on ABC last night. The opening segment focused on the residents of Huntington, West Virginia, and Jamie's campaign to raise the nutrititional standards in the schools and homes in town. Now I didn't see Jamie's show last night so I'm not yet able to comment on the first episode, but I think the overall topic and the issues of this “Food Revolution,” and Oprah's introduction of it are worthy of discussion. Regardless of whether one is a celebrity, well-known chef, community activist, or simply someone caring for their family, I am a champion of anyone who works to improve the standards for what is served in our schools, restaurants and homes. But two issues came to mind as I watched Jamie and Ryan Seacrest, (producer of “Food Revolution), discuss how they were received by the residents of Huntington when they arrived in town. Jamie mentioned that he initially had a hard time overcoming the view that he was a foreigner, a celebrity as it were, trying to force his ethics on their town purely for the entertainmet value and for his own profits. I've followed Jamie's work with schoolchildren in the U.K. through segments that have aired on BBC America and I find his efforts pretty admirable, but I can also see how the image that he's crafted could be a turn-off to residents of a town in West Virginia. While I understood Oprah's point when she said that Jamie's motivation wasn't to make money, (and I agree, I don't necessarily believe that is his main motivation), am I off when I thought it was disingenuous of Oprah to suggest that producing a major show on ABC doesn't generate profits for the producer and Jamie? Did they have an obligation to the audience to let us know that the motivation is to help us change the way we look at food and the way we eat but in the end, they also profit? Should we assume they profit through those efforts or does it even matter? They previewed a segment from “Food Revolution” showing a Mother of four and the groaning table of deep-fried junk, fast-food she was shoveling into her family. As Oprah mentioned, “everything was golden,” there was “nothing green on the plate.” When Jamie asked about vegetables the Mom said something like “no we don’t eat them.” Now isn’t that sad. Sad that we’ve gotten away from good food, from cooking and from eating right. Sad that we need television to tell us that. I had a quiet little chuckle about this new effort being called a “Food Revolution,” and I thought about two people and what they would think about Jamie’s “Food Revolution.” My Grandfather, Ralph Pink would rail against pork being called “the other white meat.” He’d be aghast that there was no longer a local butcher in town where he could go and buy a pork loin roast with a thick layer of fat. He would hate a supermarket "lean" pork roast that didn't deliver a juicy roast to the table with a ring of crackling fat on the outside. Ralph Pink’s “Food Revolution” would be against today’s pork. My Mother, Janet Ross, will only serve asparagus in the spring and it will only be asparagus from Walla Walla, Washington. It is local and it only comes out of the ground one hand-cut spear at a time--in spring. Mother didn’t know what the word “seasonal” was in 1952 when she got married and first served asparagus for Easter dinner so she only served it once a year when it was fresh and at the peak of flavor. The tradition continues today. Mother’s “Food Revolution,” would be against imported asparagus in October. Yes, Jamie, Grandfather Pink and my Mother would certainly agree with you that America has lost it’s way and I guess some need a “Food Revolution” to bring them back. But really, some of us, a few I suppose, never lost our way and we’ve been farming, eating and cooking the same way, the right way, all along. So did you watch "Food Revolution" and do you think it will change the way America eats?
  14. i was reading michael ruhlman's blog, and sometimes he has his friend, anthony bourdain, write some guest pieces. well, in one of those pieces, bourdain calls james beard a 'much disliked crank'. i understand why the beard awrds themselves might be viewed in a unfavorable light, but what did the man do to engender such feelings? this is the first time i've ever read or heard something so nasty about a man who did so much for the culinary arts in this country. http://blog.ruhlman.com/ruhlmancom/2007/03/index.html
  15. Guss's pickles in the Lower East Side (the place with the barrels on the sidewalk) is fighting United Pickle for the rights to the Guss's name. New York Times
  16. Yesterday I had the always renewed pleasure of waiting in line for nearly half an hour at my local Poste to ship a package to a friend in Atlanta, GA. Inside: 3 jars of mustard. Weight of package: a hair over 2kg. The post office woman asked me what I was sending in my package and when I said, "De la moutarde," she looked at me and shook her head. Oh, no, that won't do. You can't send alimentary products to the U.S. People get their packages opened and pulled apart. She took out a book of rules in different countries and flipped through it until she found the U.S. Yes, indeed, I needed to declare my package to the FDA and get a waiver to send it on, which would then be affixed to my package and everything could go smoothly. This seemed utterly absurd to me! We're not talking about produce or meat or anything remotely dangerous, but jars (sterilized obviously by their maker - these are purchased jars of mustard available in stores) of ground mustard seed, vinegar, etc. So now I have my carefully packed package on the counter in my hallway. I don't want to let down my mustard-loving friend, but the idea of going through all the hoops seems silly. Does anyone else have experience sending food items through the Poste (or via some other means; because as a side remark, she told me that as my package was over 2kg it had to be send by Colissimo blablabla, some higher-up level of shipping, and would cost 37.50 € - which also kind of stinks...).
  17. The sequence of posts that began at No. 71 in johnnyd's foodblog got me to thinking: Condiments are the culinary equivalent of kudzu. Or maybe they breed like rabbits. In any case, give 'em enough room and time, and eventually, they take over all the available shelf space in your pantry. I figure the process works something like this: You're about to make a dish that requires a certain type of condiment sauce, oil, or vinegar. You go out to the store to buy a bottle. Of course, the recipe doesn't require the entire bottle, so what's left goes on your shelf. Some time later, you're out shopping when something new or unusual catches your eye on a shelf somewhere. You think to yourself, "Hmmm, I'd like to try this and see what it tastes like." Into your cart and onto your shelf it goes, there to await its star turn. On your birthday, or on Christmahaunkwanzaakah, someone--a friend, relative, or co-worker--buys you a bottle of an exotic __________, knowing that you are particularly fond of sauces of this type. You thank the giver profusely and sock it away, making a mental note to be sure (never) to invite him over for dinner (sometime in the future). Before you know it, you're like me (and H.J. Heinz)--you have 57 varieties of oils and sauces of varying kinds, including multiple varieties of vinegars, mustards, salsas, marinades, oils and hot sauces, and maybe even more than one variety of ketchup (in addition to Heinz, I have a bottle of La Niña Spicy Ketchup I bought three weeks ago), scattered throughout your pantry and fridge. I'm only presenting my census data in the aggregate: 14 hot sauces, including 5 habanero sauces, one Louisiana-type, one cayenne sauce, two Huy Fong sauces (sriracha and chili garlic) and two varieties of Tabasco (but not the original--I need to restock it) 7 oils, including the basic cooking oils (canola, soybean) and the buttery-flavored canola oil for popping popcorn 6 vinegars, including 3 rice vinegars 5 types of mustard, one mixed with mayo 3 soy sauces, counting teriyaki as a soy sauce 3 marinades 2 sweet chili sauces -- one American, one Asian 2 bottled salad dressings, one left by a guest who brought a tossed salad to a dinner 2 pancake syrups, one "lite" 2 barbecue sauces 2 steak sauces (Heinz 57 and A1) 2 varieties of ketchup 1 jar of salsa 1 jar of mayonnaise (Hellman's, natch) 1 jar of hoisin sauce 1 bottle of fish sauce 1 bottle of Worcestershire sauce 1 chutney Angostura bitters Top this, why don'tcha? I'm sure some of you can.
  18. Okay, here is what we had: Moutarde Violette (recette Charentaise) Nice mellow mustard that would be tasty with crackers and cheese. The sweetness of the wine mellows out the mustard seed really well. Moutard de Truffe (Tubissime) OMG, that is not okay! Two tastes that came together as something you would shoot at a fancy fraternity party, as a dare. Moutard au Miel (Champ's) Yummy, a discernible amount of honey created a delicious classic pairing. (While I didn't have time to bring it, the honey mustard from Les Abilles is amazing. It features a spike of horseradish that gives it another dimension). Moutard de Picard (Champ's) I felt the cider didn't add anything to the taste. The flavor was as if plain whole grain had cider vinegar dumped into the batch. Moutard au Vin Charentais Nice whole grain look, but tasted of dust and cider. Verjus et Miel (Maille) Nothing special, tasted of your basic brown mustard. Horshradish (Maille) I LOVE horseradish and assumed I would love this mustard. Unfortunately this mustard tasted nothing of the bite or tang of horseradish and instead offered only little pickled nuggets of the root. Forte de Dijon (Monoprix) The strongest of the Dijons. A bit too powerful for most applications. Unless of course you want to clear your sinuses instantly. French's ballpark Oh French's, this instantly takes me back to pulling those nasty encrusted udders at Fenway. How can I say anything bad about something so charged with good memories. French's Dijon So either this one had gone bad, or just IS really bad. Tastes of flour and flowers, with hints of cardboard thrown in. The texture was pasty to boot. Moutarde de Dijon (Champ's) Classic Dijon taste without being overwhelming like the one from Monoprix. Moutarde de Meaux (Pommery) Big bits of whole grain but with a smooth taste that develops in the mouth. Hints of Champagne left a nice finish that felt as though it would cut through a fatty steak really well. For me the best of the lot were the Champ's au Miel and Dijon, both of which represented the best of their respective genres. My other favorite was the moutarde de Meaux which was both original and delicious. The French's Dijon and the moutarde de Truffe should be labeled as "not meant for consumption". The French's ballpark gets high scores for nostalgia. Here is a link to the labels and the pretzels: Mustard Gallery
  19. In a conversation with my hair stylist, pickled sausages came up and I became intrigued. Where does one get good pickled sausages? I thought I saw some at columbus market on renfrew but it turns out those are packed in oil. suggestions?
  20. The latest eG Radio foodcast -- an exclusive interview with the editor of the New York Times dining section (Pete Wells) and the editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine (James Oseland) -- is online and available for download now. The announcement, download and subscription links are here. This topic is for discussion of the content of the current eG Radio foodcast. If you need technical support with, for example, downloading or playing the foodcast, please use the Technical Support forum. If you have questions or comments about the eG Radio foodcast effort that are not related to the specific issues dealt with in this program, please submit those to the eGullet Society Member Feedback forum. Thanks!
  21. Chef Andrés, I recently bought some of the excellent chorizo ibérico de bellota from La Tienda and noticed that your name is on the package. Can you share with us the story of your involvement bringing the legendary ibérico pork products into the US?
  22. This is going to be a rant, since I need to write this post having just walked in the door from the most underwhelming meal I’ve had in this city in ten years. My two friends, let’s call them Jerry and Sean, came down from New York to visit for the day. Sean wanted us to go to James restaurant for dinner, because he’s friends with the sous chef and pastry chef there from a previous job. Joining us were two other friends, let’s call them Jim and Pat. Pat is friends with the owner’s wife from a previous job. We arrive for a 6:30 reservation with bottles of wine, since they don’t yet have their license, and sat in the private dining area-separated-by-a-velvet-drape. The owner’s wife greets us and says they’d like to cook for us. My understanding of this statement from years in the restaurant business is that you willfully and generously cook for your friends and/or other restaurant workers at minimal or no charge as a professional courtesy. I’ve done it a million times. I’ll return to this issue later, though, after a discussion of the food. Amuse: brandade on a baguette crouton. The brandade was austere in its lack of flavoring other than salt cod, no garlic or herb taste, and it was cold. The crouton was cut and toasted with no treatment of flavor from oil or seasoning. Risotto made with Prosecco and an Oyster: Undercooked, pre-blanched rice in a winey liquid with no butter or cheese, no creaminess at all. On top a shucked oyster. (nice bernadaud china however) Olive oil-Poached Bass with Chickpea Puree and Fennel: Very nicely cooked piece of fish over a smear of utterly flavorless chickpea puree, a dab of flavorless parsley oil and some thick shaved but undressed fennel. Why no taste? Why? All these ingredients can be made into flavorful things. Pappardelle with Duck? Ragu and “Umbrian” Truffles and Bitter Chocolate: Served at or below room temp somehow and quite dry. Once again no taste. Truffle, flavorless. Histrionic grating of chocolate over dish, flavorless. Braised and Crisped Pork Belly with Cabbage and 30-Year Balsamic: Once again, the pork was devoid of any salt, pepper, herb or spice flavoring. Why? And we’re not talking about any $10/lb Kurobota pork here that has intrinsic taste. Also, the crisp skin stuck in your teeth like caramel. Cabbage in chiffonade, blanched and picked up in a beurre nage. No indication of any balsamic vinegar, young or old. Roasted Squab over Parsnip Puree with Squab Sauce and an inexplicable plate of Salt-Cured Foie Gras on the side: Flabby skin, grainy puree, no seasoning, what the hell with the foie gras? Hanger Steak with Smoked Potato Puree and Beaujolais Reduction: I swear to God that this dish tasted exactly like a hot dog. Puree was smoky but again was grainy and devoid of any butter or cream or seasoning. Why? How can someone get steak and potatoes wrong? Why? (beef was like a 2 oz portion) Cheese: banal Dessert: Mostly good. Chestnut cake with figs was the best dish all night. Slice of chocolate pate on a piece of toast was laughable. And the torrone petit-four I can almost guarantee was bought from Claudio’s. Overall this meal was of unacceptable quality. Furthermore it took FOUR hours. We’re talking half hour course times when we represented almost half of the guests in the room. Why? This isn’t Per Se or Minibar. And the final insult: we were charged for five tasting menus at $90 each. IS THIS A PRACTICAL JOKE? There isn’t even a tasting menu option on the a la carte to give the guest a sense of expectation. Seriously I nor any of us there are interested in getting free food as a end of a dining experience. We enjoy food: it’s our passion and our jobs. This whole dining experience was an affront to my professional sensibilities, from the length of the meal to the quality of the food preparation to the price they expect to get for it. They have no business asking prices proportional to those of Vetri, the Fountain, Le Bec, the Bass or Lacroix. If this isn’t some sort of joke then good luck, James et al; you’re gonna need it. Once again this is why I cook at home.
  23. Sorry to lower the tone, but did anyone catch his TV show last night? Christ is there no end to this mans philanthropy, when he dies they should canonise him at least. Anyway the basis is, Jamie is going to give one of his 'downtrodden, disadvantaged and desolate' trainees the chance to run their own restaurant. So four trainees have to battle it out to see who wins etc etc. Of course the purpose of this venture is not to promote his ever expanding empire and do-gooder image, but to give some poor soul the chance to be happy, successful and a whole person. However a few questions/ points: 1. These 'disadvantaged ' individuals did not seem that bad to me. Ok one had stole a car twice, one had overdone it on the gak, one came from Thailand and the other was an Irish lad ( being Irish seemingly his criteria for disadvantagedness) Hardly the Asbo generation? 2. Prior to his 15 project was it really so hard to become a chef? He kept claiming last night how much he had changed these 'kids' lives by giving them a chance to become a chef! 3. Why did he feel the need to step up the swearing ala Gordon Ramsey? Come on Jamie not really the image you want to portray. Even Ruth Watson was swearing. 4. Who the fuck is Ruth Watson? 5. Why did he feel the need to show his vast fortune of? Driver, mansion, lavish birthday celebrations etc etc? Was it to show the poor people that if they take over this pub they could have all this? 6. Why did the Irish lad's Mum have subtitles when she was speaking English albeit with a bit of an accent? 7 Was it a coincidence that the name of pub was called The Cock? This had to be the most patronising piece of television I have ever seen, well since his last piece of pseudo altruistic nonsense....... Apologies one and all I felt I had to vent my spleen
  24. I have just started to make Christine Ferber's chestnut and vanilla jam. I have halved the quantities she suggested and have followed her instructions which were to put the peeled chestnuts, water, sugar and vanilla pod in a pan, bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes, strirring gently. The next stage is for it to sit in a ceramic bowl overnight. This is the stage I am at. My mixture went solid the minute I put it in the bowl. The sugar is now quite hard and I suspect that I had the heat too high when I cooked it for the 15 minutes. I have two questions. 1. Ought I have cooked it for a shorter period given that I had halved the quantity of the ingredients, and if so, how long should I have cooked it for? 2. Is there anything I can do now to save it? My fingers are still sore from peeling the chestnuts and I am really reluctant to put it in the bin if anyone can suggest anything. The quantities I used were: 400g peeled chestnuts 400g sugar 200ml water vanilla pod Thanks for any advice.
  25. I made duck confit this past weekend and chilled the fat in an upside down mason jar in order to remove the "jelly" before storing the legs in the fat. Is there any good use for this wonderful looking jelly. I made a brown duck stock from the carcasses. Can I add the jelly to this? Should it be frozen and added to sauces or do I pitch it.
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