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weinoo

eG Foodblog: johnder, slkinsey, weinoo (2011) - A tale of two boroughs

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johnder   

Hey. I've got that exact same Nick & Nora glass, and it's got an Ott's Special in it right this moment.

What do people use as a sub for Abbott's bitters when, you know, you don't have johnder around to make it for you?

Well hopefully soon everyone will be able to enjoy them. Will report more on that tomorrow. In the interim, the best sub is some fee's barrel aged bitters. If you really want to get close, that with a drop or two of clove tincture will be perfect.

However, this drink works really well with plain old ango as well.

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Pierogi   

Holy cow, this is going to be a fabulous week. All of my favorite things in one blog, New York, good food, shopping excursions and COCKTAILS !!!

Mitch, the PEZ collection is so cool, love the Fozzie Bear dispenser. He was my favorite muppet (after the Swedish Chef). And what an absolutely, dead-on, killer brilliant way to store your pot/pan lids ! That is probably the coolest thing I've ever seen. Wow. That'll solve a ton of problems for me, including closing up the black hole behind my stove where it won't suck up to the wall because of where the gas line comes up from the floor. I am ALWAYS losing stuff behind the damn range, since I have a utensil rack hanging above it. Wow. What a brilliant idea.

Sam, that cocktail paraphernalia collection is stunning. I am seriously envious. Just gorgeous stuff.

John, I too, hope for some gratuitous Chow shots this week, as well as more shots of that gorgeous nature from your upstate house.

I can't wait for the rest of the week. YaaaaHOOOO !

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Pierogi   

OK....I've got a question I've been dying to ask, and since we have 3 of the 5 eGullet Cocktail Eggheads * here in one place, at one time (virtual place/time, of course), maybe I can get the definitive answer.

I am intrigued by the concept of flaming a citrus peel over a drink. I can intellectually see how burning the oils leads to a more complex and maybe pronounced flavor. However, I am scared spitless (and y'all know I cleaned *that* up....) by the thought of introducing live fire over high proof alcohol.

I mean....I like my eyebrows, eyelashes and hair. A lot. Bear in mind I am a total klutz, and have limited coordination. I can trip over a seam in linoleum. How do you accomplish this feat without burning down the house and calling out the paramedics? A replay of the great Chicago Fire I could do without....

Thanks in advance.

(*The other 2 Eggheads being Chris Amirault and EJE, of course, with KatieLoeb as a shout-out....)

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Mitch, are you familiar with the Italian term sprezzatura? You could say you have pezzatura.

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weinoo   

I am intrigued by the concept of flaming a citrus peel over a drink. I can intellectually see how burning the oils leads to a more complex and maybe pronounced flavor. However, I am scared spitless (and y'all know I cleaned *that* up....) by the thought of introducing live fire over high proof alcohol.

(*The other 2 Eggheads being Chris Amirault and EJE, of course, with KatieLoeb as a shout-out....)

Though I am, by a city mile, the least eggheadish of those you mention, I think this guy gives a pretty good demo on the procedure.

I've never done any damage to my house or hair, by the way, and the garnish is perfect on a Cornwall Negroni, a drink I first tasted at the hand of Phil Ward, when he was at Pegu Club.

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weinoo   

Mitch, are you familiar with the Italian term sprezzatura? You could say you have pezzatura.

That's a great word, Kent. And I know what it means now (bless the Wiki sometimes. So for now, the Pez stays.

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abooja   

My husband used to collect Pez dispensers. He still has around 300 of them, the most expensive of which cost him $650. :shock:

This is a really fun idea for a blog -- three guy friends in NYC, dishing it out and slamming a few back. Looking forward to the rest. :cool:

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weinoo   

My husband used to collect Pez dispensers. He still has around 300 of them, the most expensive of which cost him $650. :shock:

This is a really fun idea for a blog -- three guy friends in NYC, dishing it out and slamming a few back. Looking forward to the rest. :cool:

Okay, now that dude has a real Pez collection :smile: .

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hathor   

Weinoo, very interesting on the pot lids. I have severe pot lid issues. Is there a rack behind the stove or do they just stay up by the handles? What about splatter?

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weinoo   

Weinoo, very interesting on the pot lids. I have severe pot lid issues. Is there a rack behind the stove or do they just stay up by the handles? What about splatter?

Hi hathor. Behind the stove is one of the same bars from which hang the hooks holding the whisks, ladles, spoons, etc. The lids fit snugly within.

I think they are about $10 at IKEA (they make a few different lengths) and they may part of the Grundtal line. I may even have an extra one in my closet - and you can have it!

Anyone who thinks that was my idea is nuts. When we moved in, I had a Swedish friend help me make the best use of the space. Everyone needs a Swedish friend for just that purpose :laugh: .

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weinoo   

Time for breakfast? If you're insane like me, you've already been up for like 4 hours, done 6 loads of laundry and are ready to head to the gym. Lucky me - both the laundry AND the gym are in my building...one of the things that makes our NYC apartment living more bearable.

Anyway, everyone knows that I think you should never skip breakfast, and I really do live that maxim to the fullest extent possible. And since I started this topic about hot cereal add-ins, I decided to give some of the ideas a whirl, starting today.

IMG_0967_1.JPG

I started by toasting the oatmeal in a bit of butter, till it was brown, rather than starting it in plain water...

IMG_0969_1.JPG

Then I added the water along with some raisins, dried cranberries and dried apricots to the pot, and cooked it for about 7 - 8 minutes...

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And here's breakfast (that's my 2nd cuppa joe, by the way)...

IMG_0971_1.JPG

My verdict: Meh. Toasting does bring a different element to the finished product (ummm, toastiness?) but I don't know if I want that element in my breakfast cereal. Makes it taste too much like a side dish of grain. I suppose with a more savory add-in (bacon!) it might be better. For now, I'll skip that step.

Oh, and for dessert, I always have these. It's the slightly Woody Allenish, slightly neurotic middle-aged NYC jewishness in me. In the case of one of them, a necessary evil, since I was diagnosed with slightly high blood pressure 8 or 9 years ago. The rest are vitamins, probiotics and whatever else I have laying around...

IMG_0973_1.JPG

Okay, off to the gym now. I might join johnder for a quick lunch in a few hours - surprises await.

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slkinsey   

Okay, I can see that I have very much fallen behind!

My part of this blog will be different from John's and Mitch's -- fundamentally for the reasons that I'm extremely short on time, and Mrs. slkinsey and I have determined to eat only one "full meal" a day so we can lose some weight. Everything else will be snacking (and drinking, of course). Yesterday didn't even have that. We were out of the house most of the day involved in various opera singing-related activities, and came back just in time to see the Green Bay Packers wipe the field with the Chicago Bears. I would have loved to have my heart broken by watching the Jets game as well, but since I love my wife and want to stay married, I could pick only one game to watch.

Today I'll be picking up a big order from the butcher, breaking some items down, processing and cooking some, and vacuum-packing them for the freezer. I'll also roast a pound or two of coffee beans for espresso. Dinner will likely be three cocktails.

We woke up late today, so no time to shame johnder about his espresso skills. Tomorrow. Also like johnder, we are not really morning people when it comes to eating on workday mornings. This morning's breakfast was a cup of press-pot coffee.

photo.JPG

This tiny piece of counter between the sink and the stove gives you some idea what we have to work with in my kitchen. Later, if I can get some good pictures, I'll show everyone around my various space-saving devices. When Mrs. slkinsey moved into the apartment, she presided over a fairly extensive reorganization, reconfiguration and redecoration of the apartment, including such projects as tearing out the inside of the hall closet and turning it into a pantry (which I promptly filled up with food, booze and culinary equipment.

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johnder   

I am intrigued by the concept of flaming a citrus peel over a drink. I can intellectually see how burning the oils leads to a more complex and maybe pronounced flavor. However, I am scared spitless (and y'all know I cleaned *that* up....) by the thought of introducing live fire over high proof alcohol.

The first time I have seen a flamed orange twist is from the master Dale Degroff. He starting doing these when working at the Rainbow room here in NYC and when someone ordered a cosmo back then, they would get a little bar showmanship like the great days of Jerry Thomas. I think there is little risk of starting any fires by doing this, as the oils exuded even from the freshest orange will quickly evaporate and the flames will disperse almost immediately.

I have flamed hundreds of oranges over varying proofs of alcohol (up to 135.5 proof Red Hook Rye) without any incidents. Although I wouldn't recommend it, people have been know to take a flamed twist or two on the hand behind the bar by accident as well.

In terms of flavor, it really does change the dynamic of a drink and while it works well in some drinks, I personally don't think it works well in others. For instance, I really don't like it in a negroni. As Mitch mentioned, it works really well in the cornwall negroni though. I really like it in Phil Ward's Oaxaca OF though.

The trick to flaming a twist is to make sure you hold it far enough away from the flame, you don't want to carbonize or blacken the peel before you squeeze it. Otherwise you will pick up almost a burnt plastic taste. Also, gently move the peel back and forth over the flame to warm the entire peel before finally moving it close and squeezing quickly to exude the oils.

Give it a shot!

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weinoo   

The trick to flaming a twist is to make sure you hold it far enough away from the flame, you don't want to carbonize or blacken the peel before you squeeze it. Otherwise you will pick up almost a burnt plastic taste. Also, gently move the peel back and forth over the flame to warm the entire peel before finally moving it close and squeezing quickly to exude the oils.

Give it a shot!

The other trick - don't do it over a darn candle, like the bartender was doing the other night when Sig Eater and I were dining at an unnamed bar/restaurant. Use a long-stemmed match or, as in the video above, a butane lighter.

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johnder   

Wow, it is cold here in NYC. Not as cold as it is at the house upstate, which, looking at the weather last night it was -15 with wind chill down to -29. Youch.

Anyway, as I mentioned I am not much of a morning person. I work in midtown, directly across from the David Letterman theatre. My commute in the morning is about a 25 minute subway ride, which is somewhere between crowded and packed. To fortify myself for the ride I walk a block or two out of the way at home to stop by a local cafe called Roots. Given this is Park Slope they are somewhat crunchy as you can tell by the menu. Jamey, the owner is from Alabama so there are a few touches of home there for him. Like the side of grits you get with your breakfast sandwich.

ROOTS2.jpg

For me, it is just a quick latte, one sugar. They pull Stumptown hairbender shots and it is just enough caffeine to make me survive the train.

roots1.jpg

Depending on how my day is looking, I may grab a buttered kaiser roll from the coffee cart on the corner of my building, but today the line was too long and it was too cold outside to stand in line.

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Shelby   

So, first set of photos. Starting with a bunch of snacks while the wings cook.

First, I am somewhat addicted to thix Pnxtos you can get at Fairway market here in Park Slope. (There is also one up by Sam on the upper west side). I am sure I can roll them myself, but these do save a lot of time. They are damn tasty too.

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Also a pickled veg plate. This has the pickled mushrooms and pickled spiced artichoke hearts from Fairway, as well as some giardiniere from Doc Pickle at the local farmers market.

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What's snacking without some pork? Some sliced meats from Eataly.

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For the wings, I am too lazy tonight to break out the fryer, so I am going the oven method. I joint the wings (saving the wing tips for stock) and dust them in rice flour and salt. Put them on a foil lined half-sheet pan sprayed with crisco and bake on convection at 400 until brown. Flipping once or twice.

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These are in the oven now. The sauce is your basic buffalo wing sauce. Butter (in lieu of traditional margarine), Franks, a dash of cayenne and my own twist, a handful of these pickled thai chillies.

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The wings are still in the oven, but will post a pic when they come out.

While they are cooking, I had a nice cocktail. I blurred out parts of the bottle to protect the innocent. :biggrin:

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For me, there are two drinks that you need to shake so hard that you feel your arm is going to fall off. A Ramos and a Daiquiri. I love the shards of ice in this drink and it really helps with dilution since this is barrel proof.

dai1.jpg

I've never seen pinchos before! I'm dying to try that. Must google to find the right anchovies.

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johnder   

Given I don't have any breakfast shots, I figured I would talk a little about the upstate place. It is located in the southern most part of the Adirondack Parkm which is a 6+ million acre state park. The land the house is built on is technically part of the APA and in the state park which makes the building regulations and restrictions very tough. There is no new building alllowed in the area, and only existing buildings can be replaced/repaired.

As I mentioned, we can only reach the house via boat. We park the car over at a shared boathouse along with 16 other property owners and use one of our two boats. One is the work barge, the other a small jon-boat. In the winter the house is accessible via snowmobile or cross country skiing. It is only about a .33 mile trip door to door.

We are in the process now of finalizing the kitchen cabinets and flooring selection, but work has pretty much stopped for the winter. I am pretty determine to have a gas stove at the house since I really despise electric stoves, so last summers project was running all the necessary propane lines for the heat and stove.

The Adirondacks has a long history of the weekend escape place for the rich and famous of NY back in the golden days. President Coolidge spent two months vacation there back in 1926. A odd quirk about the Adirondacks is that everyone calls their house a camp. It can be the dingiest shack or the grandiose houses, but everyone has a "camp".

Cooking while up there is pretty much at this point restricted to the weber grill, or my offset smoker. Given all the work that happens during the day, it is great to stick some ribs or a pork shoulder on the smoker and not have to fuss with it. Of course the requisite side up there are salt potatoes.

Here are a couple of shots as you approach from the lake.

lake1.jpg

lake3.jpg

View from the upstairs overlooking the great room:

lake12.jpg

And finally the view from the great room out to the lake:

lake4.jpg

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weinoo   

I figured I might do some bread/pizza/focaccia baking later in the week, and along those lines, thought I might even do some sourdough, even though it drives me crazy.

I always have some starter in my fridge, though it's not always in the greatest of shape. And it should always be revived prior to using it, otherwise it won't do a darn thing.

Take a look at this...

Disgusting Starter 2_1.JPG

That's what my starter looks like right now. So next...

Disgusting Starter 1_1.JPG

Take a little bit of starter - don't stir that crap on top back in...pour it off and scrape the top layer of gunk off. The stuff underneath is what you want. About a tablespoonful...

Starter Tiny Bit_1.JPG

Stirred into equal parts flour (I'm using bread flour) and water...

Starter Raring to Go_1.JPG

Cover and set it aside. We'll refeed it in 8 - 12 hours. Or before I go to bed.

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johnder   

One of the daily annoyances I deal with here at work is the coffee situation. This is the monstrosity I need to put up with.

coffee.jpg

While It is leaps and bounds over the k-cup machine we used to have. These Flavia (now Alterra) packets are still pretty absymal. It is like filtering tepid water through a bag of coffee scented sawdust.

For a while I used to bring in my all-in-one french press travel mug, but something happened to the hot water dispenser in that it decided at some point along the way that hot water meant dispensing 170 degree water.

It used to spit out 210 degree water which made a pretty good cup. I would bring in some ground coffee from home in pre-measured packs and dump them into the french press and life would be good. Now I have that joy removed from my daily worklife.

Can you tell I am a bit annoyed? I need coffee. :-(

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weinoo   

Isn't Flavia one of the contestants on Top Chef Masters?

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Some butter would help with making them less healthy and very tasty. I think they look good but butter makes everything better.

Ahh, santo_grace, so right you are. There is 1/3 cup of butter along with 1 egg in the recipe. It helped, but still not enough for Sig Eater :biggrin: .

I use the same recipe but I add a cup of crushed pineapple, well drained, and 1/4 cup less liquid than in the original recipe.

bake for about 5 additional minutes. Internal temp should be 190°F though the probe may have a bit of sticky stuff from the pineapple on it, there should be no unbaked batter.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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Darienne   

Hello Mitch,

Just found this thread and am delighted. Reason #1 is the set of photos of your kitchen...which is the same shape as my kitchen, only much better filled and organized obviously.

Later today, DH and I will sit and review all your photos and see if we can replicate some of your space solutions in our own house.

(Size and shape of the kitchen are my 'fault'. Fifteen years ago when the kitchen was carved out of space, I did not like cooking and it was sufficient. Now, alas, it is not, and my kitchen is in the kitchen, breezeway, garage, studio, and living room. Oops. Forgot, in the cellar too.)

Thanks again.

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weinoo   

Some butter would help with making them less healthy and very tasty. I think they look good but butter makes everything better.

Ahh, santo_grace, so right you are. There is 1/3 cup of butter along with 1 egg in the recipe. It helped, but still not enough for Sig Eater :biggrin: .

I use the same recipe but I add a cup of crushed pineapple, well drained, and 1/4 cup less liquid than in the original recipe.

bake for about 5 additional minutes. Internal temp should be 190°F though the probe may have a bit of sticky stuff from the pineapple on it, there should be no unbaked batter.

That sounds good, and might even bring Sig Eater over to the "dark side" of whole grain cereals :wink: .

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weinoo   

Hello Mitch,

Just found this thread and am delighted. Reason #1 is the set of photos of your kitchen...which is the same shape as my kitchen, only much better filled and organized obviously.

Later today, DH and I will sit and review all your photos and see if we can replicate some of your space solutions in our own house.

(Size and shape of the kitchen are my 'fault'. Fifteen years ago when the kitchen was carved out of space, I did not like cooking and it was sufficient. Now, alas, it is not, and my kitchen is in the kitchen, breezeway, garage, studio, and living room. Oops. Forgot, in the cellar too.)

Thanks again.

Hire a Swede :laugh: . And don't forget the IKEA catalog.

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Darienne   

Hire a Swede :laugh: . And don't forget the IKEA catalog.

Oddly enough, we were just mentioning Ikea this morning as we contemplated our next move... :biggrin:

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