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eG Foodblog: Percyn - Food, Wine and Intercourse..(PA that is)


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Last night I had planned dinner for a few friends from work and eGullet at StudioKitchen (check out the StudioKitchen thread if you are not familiar with it).

Shola, the chef extraordinaire had agreed to a Thai themed dinner. Below is what I stole from Philadining's post on the above mentioned thread and added the wines we tasted, as I was the wine scribe for the night.

When you eat at StudioKitchen, you eat with all your senses, you in order to fully experience our meal, you would not only need smell-a-vision, but touch-a-vision and hear-a-vision as well.

--- Main contents plagiarized from Philadining's post ---

Studio Kitchen October 1, 2005

Coconut Carrot Soup

Crab Spring Roll

Domaine des Terrisses Gaillac Vin Doux Sparkling - This was a sweet sparkling which is typically served with dessert, but the sweetness of the carrots and coconut in the soup complimented the sweetness of the wine.

2004 Dr Konstantin Frank Dry Finger Lakes (NY) Riesling- This was one of the driest Rieslings I have every tried. It certainly provided good contrast to the sweetness of the soup.

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This is still more evidence of how great a “Shola’s Soup Kitchen” would be. A creamy coconut broth was vibrant with spices and carrot flavor, lightened by an airy foam. This itself would have been plenty satisfying, but the addition of tender bay scallops, bright orange mussels and chunks of lobster made it even more delicious.

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The crunch of the fried spring roll made a nice textural contrast, the crab filling lending another sweet note from the sea. I liked dipping the spring roll in the soup…

Grilled Chicken "Sate"

Cucumber Pickle, Peanut Praline

2004 Ignaz Niedrist Sudtirol Terlaner Sauvignon - This is an Italian Sauvignon, which has a wonderful, complex nose and fruity palate.

2003 Migration Pinot Noir - A great pairing with the chicken sate. Fruity and lusious, but not overly so.

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In theory this is a pretty simple dish, just grill some chicken and serve peanut sauce. But not surprisingly, this reached new heights in Shola’s hands, with extremely tender, marinated chicken, touched with grill char, dressed lightly with peanut sauce, served over a sweet peanut caramel.

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The pickle of thin strands of cucumber echoed the traditional cucumber salad so often accompanies these skewers in Thai restaurants. Apologies to Kamol Phutlek of Nan restaurant, but I have a new favorite satay….

Applewood Smoked, Roasted Wild Salmon

Tamarind Glaze, Soy Mushrooms, Braised Chinese Celery

2001 Alsace Barmès-Buecher Riesling Grand Cru Steingrubler 2002 - Well balanced Riesling with a hint of sweet lime.

2004 Domaine Amido Lirac Rose

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The tamarind glaze gave a slight sweetness to this rich fish, which had just enough smoke to add another dimension, but not so much that it overwhelmed the inherent flavors of the salmon. A variety of wild mushrooms, with a little splash of soy, provided an earthy platform for the fish. The braised Chinese Celery was boldly bitter, and would have been hard to take on its own, but was a perfect foil for the fattiness of the salmon.

Poached Lobster with Asian Spices

Dessicated Tomatoes, Lemongrass Tea

Banana Leaf, Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass Perfumed Jasmine Rice

2001 Louis Latour Montagny 1er Cru 'La Grande Roche' - The structure of this white burgundy stood up well to the lime and lemongrass flavors.

2002 Georges Duboeuf Viognier Les Ozils - Don't recall a lot about this wine, which means it did not knock my socks off.

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Yeah, yeah, lobster, yada yada, fabulous, delicious, whatever, let’s talk abut the rice! First of all, jasmine rice has a lovely aroma of its own, but when cooked in coconut milk, a pinch of turmeric for good measure, then steamed in a banana leaf, with a stalk of lemongrass and a couple of kaffir lime leaves, it turns into something amazing. We were all pretty happy just eating the rice out of the mini steamer baskets. The perfume released by simply unwrapping the banana leaves was intoxicating.

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OK, I guess it should be acknowledged that the Lobster was pretty amazing too. The meat itself was sprinkled with spices such as cinnamon, allspice, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns, which gave it a complex edge, but left it tasting like a lobster. The real magic came from the combination of all the elements: spearing a chunk of lobster, a piece of the concentrated tomato soaking in the lemongrass broth, and scooping up some of that rice. Fabulous.

Frozen Pineapple Compote

Lemon Sponge Cake, Coconut Sorbet, Ginger Broth

Sour Milk and Lemon Cloud

2003 Chateau La Casenove Muscat De Rivesaltes - Excellent pairing with the tangy sour milk lemon cloud, which was out of this world (will have to try making it soon).

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We were laughing about how one doesn’t often hear the phrase “the cloud is really good” around a dinner table, but we heard it quite a lot this night! Buttermilk, cream and crème fraîche were foamed into a mold, which when removed, left a soft, billowing cloud of lemony goodness. The coconut sorbet was colder and sharper and cleaner, a nice contrast. The lemon sponge cake sat atop a log of concentrated pineapple, drizzled with basil oil, sprinkled with fleur de sel. All of this was drifting in a pool of subtle ginger broth. It was a beautifully bright ending to a vibrant meal.

It’s sounding like a cliché to keep saying it, but it’s true: yet another Studio Kitchen meal that was interesting, exciting and delicious. In some ways the menu wasn’t quite as far-out as some meals we’ve had at Studio Kitchen, but this was largely due to Shola’s adhering to the concept of the food having at least a vague Thai theme. And I’ll sacrifice novel for delicious any day!

--- End plagiarism ---

I certainly will try some of these dishes, but will not have time to do so in this blog...just keep an eye in the Dinner! thread.

Cheers

Percy

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Thanks all, maybe I should start a breakfast place  :raz:

MrBigJas, glad you enjoyed the Akoori. It is a bit more work than regular scrambled eggs, but you can make the mixture and freeze it and use a bit at a time.

i have to admit that i diced the potato pretty small--maybe 1/3 of an inch--so really it only took a few minutes to cook through. besides, when something is this good, what's 20 minutes compared to 10?

i hope that you'll include a couple more parsi recipes before you're done, if you have a chance. i've never had anything from that cuisine before, and if this was any indication....

Tried a bit of their chicken corn chowder, which tasted a lot like the Chinese sweet corn chicken soups (minus the soy sauce).

those little dumplingy blobs in there are called 'rivels.' when i was growing up, this was pretty much my favorite soup in the world.

I find the Akoori very attractive, whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It looks scrumptious. My only problem is I'm cilantro averse. I do try it from time to time, but can't seem to wrap my taste buds around it. Not exactly soapy, but it adds a shrill note to most dishes I don't like much.

i've found that with cilantro when you fry it--or really, cook it in any way--it removes a lot of the flavor that some people describe as soapy or metallic, and others think of as fresh, leaving only this vaguely earthy/herby base note. if you made this and just didn't garnish with the fresh leaves, you might not find it so offputting.

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Decided to make a Thai/Indian Omelet and French Toast for breakfast

Sautee some chilies, chopped cilantro (including the root if available), garlic and ginger. Whip a couple of eggs and add to the pan

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Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce. This is similar to version sold on the streets of Bangkok.

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Since I just got a new Panini maker, I decided to experiment by making french toast in it.

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They were good...as evidenced by the cat....2 paws up :biggrin:

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This afternoon my wife and I went to a charity wine festival, held at the Dilworthtown Inn, for the benefit of the SPCA.

First thing that caught my eye...a 360 Spyder. Hey, I will be in the market for a new car next spring. Too bad we don’t have spring like weather all year around.

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Second thing that caught my eye.... Lobster Rolls

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Angus Burger, served with a great Asian slaw

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Some awesome Memphis style ribs

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And some OK Pad Thai (man this Thai theme is lingering on)

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The wines we tasted we from PA, California and Australia and to be honest, I was not expecting mind-blowing wines this event, it was more to support a charitable organization.

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Man, did you see that Eagles and Chiefs game? Philly came back 0-17 in the second qtr to win 37-31 !!

Anyway, now for that Dhansak I promised you....

Dhansak is a traditional, typical Parsi dish eaten mainly for lunch on Sunday. Why Sunday you ask? Well, eat a big pile of this and see if you can stay awake for the afternoon :laugh:

You could follow the traditional recipe listed in cookbooks like Jamva Chaloji or at this website OR follow this simplified version, shared by my Aunt, which leverages some ingredients available in the US, which are not in India.

Ingredients (for 2-3 people):

For the Dal

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 lb goat or lamb shoulder meat cut into 1" cubes

4 tbsp oil

2 large yellow or white onions

1/2 bunch cilantro (finley chopped, including stems)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

Salt to taste

Secret Ingredient (see below)

2 tbsp Dhansak Masala

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Marinate the cubed meat in the ginger, garlic, tumeric powder, chili powder and cumin powder. (Massaging in the spices with your hand will yield best results). Let it sit in the fridge for 1/2 hr.

Sautee the onions until soft and golden brown. Add the marinated meat and sear each side (do not burn).

Add the Dhansak masala and stir. Add the chopped cilantro. Add 1/4 cup water if needed to thin out the mixture and cook it either in a pressure cooker or large pan with a lid shut. Cook until meat is tender (in a pressure cooker, let one whistle sound and then turn it on low for 10-15 minutes. If you are not using a pressure cooker, the time will vary).

** Now for the secret Ingredient ***

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Campbell's condensed pea soup!! This can be used to substitute all those lentils you would otherwise need to cook.

Now slowly open the pressure cooker or lid of the pot and add a spoonful of condensed split pea soup at a time and incorporate. Repeat until entire 8oz can is gone.

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For the "brown" (caramelized) rice

1/2 red onion

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tbsp brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 cup basmati rice

Chop the onions and fry them until golden. Add the sugar with 2 tbsp water until it caramelizes. Add the basmati rice and stir. Add 2 cups water and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil uncovered. Cover and simmer until done.

If you like cooking Indian food, it is good to invest in some high quality Basmati rice. Brands are less important than making sure it is aged and if it is from Dehradun, that is the premium region for basmati rice.

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For the Kachumber

1/2 red onion (yellow or white will also do)

1/2 tomato medium diced

1/2 cucumber

5 tbsp wine vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1 chili sliced (optional heat)

2 sprigs (not bunches) cilantro, roughly diced.

Mix it all together and let it sit for at least 1 hr.

You have to eat this dish by making a big mound of rice and then layering on the Dal. Then top it with some of the Kuchumber.

The assembly of the final dish will look something like this...

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If you wanted to "kick it up a notch", you could serve it with Pulao or

Biryani, which already contains meat and is a meal in itself.

Since I had some Biryani in the freezer...

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Usually goes well with...

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Another traditional accompaniment is Shrimp Kebabs, but I did not have time to make those today.

Other Parsi recipes can be found here.

Enjoy...

Percy

Edited by percyn (log)
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Boy, your Studio Kitchen comments make me think once again that those $39 Southwest fares from Providence to Philadelphia are pretty damned attractive....

Can't take credit for the comments...those belong to Philadining.

However, if you are serious about flying in, we can let you know the next time we have some slots open.

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Percy:

Fanasitic Blog! I do admit that your pics of your cat are the best part! If you ever need a baby-sitter, I am available!

"cheers" Julia

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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Percy,

Many thanks for your vivid tour--both indoors and out. After a mixed day of birdwatching (Hawks hit upright on last-second FG attempt; Eagles post comeback of the year), your good humour and cooking were terrific. My business partner lives in Lancaster; now I know where to go besides the American Bar & Grill.

Jamie

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Percy:

Great blog! I'm just sad it's almost over. And I used to think my cats were the cutest things ever, but I see now they have some competition from a certain Miss Peanut...

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If you like cooking Indian food, it is good to invest in some high quality Basmati rice. Brands are less important than making sure it is aged and if it is from Dehradun, that is the premium region for basmati rice.

Thanks for that advice! I've asked other customers in Indian stores which rice is the best, and I'm always told Zebra brand. I don't think it's from Dehradun. Lucky for me, I am almost out of rice and now I have something to look for!

Akoori. Yum. We make Ekoori (from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking) when we go camping and now just refer to them as "Campfire Eggs". I'm looking forward to making your version.

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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I visited a South Indian vegetarian restaurant which open up about 6 months ago not far from where I live and ordered:

Bhel Puri - A snack consisting of rice puffs, onion, cilantro, potato and tamarind chutney, which is commonly eaten in the larger cities in India. The green stuff is cilantro chutney and the red is tamarind chutney

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Idli Vada combo - The idli is the white disc, which essentially are rice and urad dal discs. The vada is a deep fried lentil donut. Both are savory. The large cup of liquid is Sambar and from top to bottom in the little cups we have coconut chutney, tomato chutney and onion chutney.

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Mysore Masala - Rice and lentil crepe stuffed with spiced onion potatoes. A Mysore masala is like a masala dosa, but sprinkled on the inside with dry sambar(?) spices, which makes it a spicier version.

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Washed it down with Nimbu soda, which is a fresh squeezed lime, topped with club soda with a tbsp of salt, pepper and garlic mixture stirred in. Try it...might be an acquired taste if you are used to the sweet version :wink:

Edited by percyn (log)
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For dinner, I made:

Jumbo lump crab salad - Avacado, lime juice, cilantro, shallots, crab, topped with micro greens (forgot to add the mango), sprinkled with fleur de sel and drizzled with 25 yr balsamico.

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Braised Short Ribs with marrow on bed of polenta -

Sear some short ribs and marrow bones

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Add some shallots, deglaze with some red wine (in this case a "Bulls Blood" I brought back from Budapest last week)

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Add some demi-glace, carrots and braise for a few hours until tender (tip - if in a hurry, braise them in a pressure cooker, which takes less than 2 hrs vs. 6 hrs).

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Make some polenta - I sometimes but good quality pre-made polenta, cut it into pieces and boil in some light cream with mushrooms and then add cheese towards the end.

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Baked some purple new potatoes in the oven and served with the short ribs (see the marrow on top? .... hmmm...marrowwww)

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My wife is not a huge fan of red meat, so for her I made:

Mushroom and Truffle pizza - which is my adaptation of what I ate in one of Emeril's restaurants. Too bad Wegmans was out of truffles, so I had to rely on truffle oil for the truffle component.

Sautee some mushrooms - in this case, crimini, oyster and mitake

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Top a Boboli thin crust with cheese of your choice (I used a blend of asiago, mozzarella and parmesan) and sautéed mushrooms

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Make a mushroom sauce with some sautéed mushrooms, mushroom stock, light cream and portabella soup. Bind with some gravy flour if needed. Add truffles and truffle oil towards the end when the sauce thickens. Pour sauce on pizza crust.

Pre-heat oven to 425F (400F if using convection oven), with pizza stone. Place crust on pizza stone. Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. (BTW, if you bake a lot, get a pair of these silicone gloves, they are great).

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Edited by percyn (log)
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Why did I have to look at these last pictures when I'm so famished? I have a horrid cold and am too miserable to cook, so I'll just have to sit here and drool over your dinner. Thanks, Percy, it's been a real treat!

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Boy, your Studio Kitchen comments make me think once again that those $39 Southwest fares from Providence to Philadelphia are pretty damned attractive....

Can't take credit for the comments...those belong to Philadining.

However, if you are serious about flying in, we can let you know the next time we have some slots open.

This has been a great thread. Thank you! I covet your breakfasts. Where is this breakfast thread people keep mentioning? I see the dinner thread but nothing about breakfasts.

Does anyone know if there is anything further north akin to your Studio Kitchen? Maybe it's a reflection of local real estate prices, here in Boston I can't imagine the economics working. I'm jealous!


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