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Do you give out your recipes?

I give them out freely and believe everyone should... but that requires me to write my creations down, which I rarely do.

Freezing pulled pork

Yes you can freeze it, but you will lose quality. The viscosity of fat and overall flavor degrade.

That said, it takes a long time to prepare pulled pork, so it's often better to freeze extra than to cook small amounts everytime.

Nov 05, 2009 in Home Cooking

Nuts Are Not Shelf-Stable

My general suggestion is to only buy bulk foods like granola and nuts in stores that sell it in high volumes.

Nov 05, 2009 in Features

New Finds: Parker's Guide to Cheap Wine

Yay is all I can say. It's hard work to do enough research to make this book worthwhile, and Robert Parker and team have done just that.

Nov 05, 2009 in Features

Why Can't I Find My Favorite Wine?

Private label wines are fine, as long as the wine is great.

For example, Kermit Lynch Wine Importers. Anything with Kermit Lynch on it means you are getting a special wine for less.

Nov 05, 2009 in Features

Like Botox for Wine

I did a review of several of these new-fangled tools using the same freshly opened bottle of syrah from St. Joseph.

The results: each tool changed the wine differently.

The winner: the control glass. Which sat in the normal air for 30 minutes, undoctored by any tool.

Simplicity wins again!

Nov 05, 2009 in Features

Go for Seconds First

Jordan - a great column, as per your usual. I went to a Rayas line tasting at Arlequin about a month ago. EVERY wine was excellent...The Rayas was outstanding, but so was the price tag. I ended up taking home the Fonsalette and the VdP ($17).

Nov 05, 2009 in Features

The Syrah Boom That Wasn't

In the early 1800s, syrah used to be the most sought after grape, well above Bordeaux. Bordeaux used to blend cab with Rhone syrah.

I'm happy that the world sees syrah/shiraz as a schizophrenic category, and quite happy if it never sees 'Sideways' boom. I don't mind if only 5% of syrah is great. This varietal is well priced in the regions I love (northern Rhone), and I hope it stays that way.

Nov 05, 2009 in Features

Romantic Dinner - Loves Steak and Pork

Pass on Allen and Delancey. My mediocre experience was consistent with the other responder.

Allen and Delancey
115 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

Nov 04, 2009 in Manhattan

Boning Knife (Shun or Wusthof)

Yes to Victornox/Forschner. Partly because of the black handle that is still grippy if it is smeared with fat (think safefty). Partly because the soft stamped steel is easily sharpened or honed after you've been carving on bones.

Forget forged knives that cost 5x as much. Put those in the mix sparingly, in places where you need more precision in your cutting.

I have Forschners that are 20 years old and still going strong after all those meat cutting parties.

Nov 04, 2009 in Cookware

Henckels Twin Select, Wusthof Grand Prix, Global, MAC or Shun Stainless?

Do NOT let anyone tell you which series is better. It's all about how they feel in your hand...small differences matter, so go try them out yourself.

That said, I despise sets. In a set of 8, there will always be 3-4 that get no play. I have a mix and match set where each knife in my block is picked for the task. N=5 knives. Wusthof GP, Forschner (meat cutting), Cut Brooklyn.

Nov 04, 2009 in Cookware

Wine Suggestion for Chicken and Shortribs

I'd pick pinot noir from Sonoma Coast or Oregon. A to Z 2007 is widely available and is $15.

Nov 04, 2009 in Wine

Why do so many corkscrews suck?

All - I gotta say it's refreshing to see that most responders are using inexpensive wine tools, where form follows function. I expected a bunch more advocates of them silly Rabbits. :-)

Nov 03, 2009 in Wine

Am I the Only One Who Doesn't Like Pinot Noir?!

I suggest you don't buy another bottle in on this category, but instead try a bunch more at wine bars and pinot noir tastings at reputable shops.

I despised pinot for about 15 years, then one day, almost overnight, I loved that category. It could happen to you too :-)

That said, here are two different, but great pinots that I'm drinking now: (richer, more flavorful style
) (lighter, fruity, with balanced acid)

Nov 03, 2009 in Wine

Romantic Dinner - Loves Steak and Pork

Suggest Perry Street in the West Village. Quiet, romantic, comfy booths for all guests. Dining room is unusually large for the 60 guests it can hold. Modern takes on steaks and pork. Awesome-but-small wine list, great table service.

Perry Street
176 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

Nov 03, 2009 in Manhattan

HELP dessert for a wedding

I suggest making a pile of ultra gourmet cupckakes - on the morning of the wedding because freshness matters alot.

I thought it was over, but the cupcake trend still rules. I am routinely seeing banquet crowds inhale cupcakes!

Do a dozen of three or four flavors.

And because this is a wedding, remember PRESENTATION is 60-70% of the total package. Don't just put them on a plate. Dress them up, realizing that they will be the centerpiece of the dessert table. Yep, think Martha Stewart and stuff.

Nov 03, 2009 in Home Cooking

Need advice & input....Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing

My opinions:
-Forget in-bird stuffing. It screws up the even cooking of the bird, makes your stuffing inconsistent at best.
-Cornbread based stuffing mix rules.
-Make your mix on the stovetop and cook until done.
-Put foil over stuffing to retain moisture.
-When ready to serve, pop stuffing back in broiler to toast the top.

Nov 03, 2009 in Home Cooking

Great Pinot Noir under $20 -- Is there such a thing?

I feel the same way -- Mark West Pinot is just a mild, unintense wine. Will never buy it again because it has no personality.

That said, it's a perfect wine to serve at a large party for the red fans who think zin and cab are too intense.

Nov 03, 2009 in Wine

Under the Radar - East Village Recs

Mayahuel on E 6th. It's gotten some press, but it is certainly still UTR in terms of Manhattan folks.

I think that's because they are making nichey tequila and mezcal drinks, and serving classic Mexican street food. This is not for everyone, but is certainly for ME. Woo hoo!

304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

Nov 03, 2009 in Manhattan

Are there things you don't get at restaurants any more because you cook them better?

Sheesh. Where do I start? I have at least 40 items in rotation I would never order at most restaurants. On the never-never list is gnocchi, most Mexican dishes, roasted chicken, barbeque.

So that's how we roll at dinner parties. My wife and I make all these things that aren't very good in restaurants.

Need help with a Birthday dinner...

Head for Hayes Valley and dine at Citizen Cake after a cocktail at Absinthe locaed one block away (best in city, IMO). My only caution: watch out for the grey hairs on opera and symphony nights. Way to avoid that is to have dinner starting at 8.

Not sure why CK doesn't get more play on Yelp, etc. I think the place is awesome. Romantic, intimate enough, not bistro loud.

Citizen Cake
399 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Sale on CA Wines....What's the Killer Buy Here?

Good call. I didn't see them on the list. Do you like the 96, 97 or 98 better?

Nov 02, 2009 in Wine

Great Pinot Noir under $20 -- Is there such a thing?

thanks for the tips on the Oregon 08. I have not tried any of them but hear from the 'pinot ho's' that it is the better one.

Nov 02, 2009 in Wine

The CHOW 13

Great job on 10 of 13 picks. But picking Deb Madison in Chow 2009 is like giving Scorcese that Oscar a couple years back...the timing is wrong, just give the Lifetime Achievement Award instead. And really guys, you've picked a beer guy and a gourmet coffee 2009? NOTHING has really changed/no innovation in coffee or beer since 1988...just a few new personalities who hit the market more right, that's all.

Nov 02, 2009 in Features

The CHOW 13

I'm not getting this pick. Micro beer is 25 years old, and the 'special ingredients' story is way overdone. This guy is just slightly more interesting and his beers are just slightly better.

Nov 02, 2009 in Features

Does Wine Taste More Pronounced In Crystal Stemware Versus Glass?

Great stems from Reidel, Spieglau, etc matter a ton. Especially when you are serving value-priced wine, which seems to benefit more from $15-20 stems than say first growth Bordeaux.

Here's what I believe - quality crystal glasses have thinner edges which do a better job of laying the wine on your tongue. Shape of glass also matters a ton. I have done many side-by-side comparisons and I just like Reidel Vinum better than my previous $5 stems from Bed Bath Beyond.

I highly recommend that you do one yourself. You can buy Reidel Vinum in a 2-pack and do a taste test at your next dinner party.

Nov 02, 2009 in Wine

Sale on CA Wines....What's the Killer Buy Here?

This is the Diageo sale. And other repliers are right, most is sold out. That said, there will be another sale on 11/12.

Moon Mountain Cab Franc 2005 is beautiful (comparable to Pride) and fairly priced at 300 a case.
Hewitt 03 Rutherford is amazing wine as well, fair at the case sale price.
Provenance Sauv Blanc is always outstanding.

Skip Sterling, Canoe Ridge, Sterling, Rosenblum.

Nov 02, 2009 in Wine

Why do so many corkscrews suck?

I used to be into high ceremony and flashy accessories when it came to opening wine.

When having guests over, I would proudly walk over to my laminated box full of glitzy accessories and conduct the ritual that I thought ’serious’ wine drinkers should perform — you know, the foil cutter, an antique wine funnel and my Rabbit corkscrew.

I junked all but one of these wine openers due to serious design flaws. Due to serious design flaws, I junked all but one of these wine openers.

Honestly, I chose all of my wine accessories for form over function, thinking function was pretty much the same. One night, this strategy really bit me in the ass. My suave wine opening attempts failed miserably three times in a row. And with each successive gaffe, I earned an increasing amount of laughter from my friends — the exact opposite response I was trying to elicit!

This comedy of errors ended with my Rabbit exploding into bits, ejecting a metal spring into one guest’s risotto while leaving the screw still in the cork! At that point, one of my guests started impersonating Elmer Fudd in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, singing “kill the wabbit…Kill The Wabbit….KILL THE WABBIT…”

Once all the hoots and howls subsided, I still had the issue of opening the bottle with the screw lodged in the cork. Luckily, I had a small pair of vice grips in the garage to bail me out.

Fast forward to the next morning. While trying to put my Rabbit back together, I realized that this wasn’t the first time my glitzy wine accessories had failed me.

At that point, I decided to hit the reset button on my collection and buy a whole new set of accessories. If something had failed on more than once occasion, I junked it…ergo, 2/3 of my accessories collection was gone including a Rabbit, a large mounted brass opener and a French Laguiole.

My new go-to set of tools:

* A $0.69 sieve to replace my $200 antique wine filter. I found the sieve at a dollar store. It completely outperformed the antique filter, which had large holes instead of fine mesh. I sold the antique on eBay and bought more wine.
* A Pulltap Waiter’s Corkscrew, which replaces EVERYTHING ELSE. Yes, the sturdy and perfectly functional Pulltap (image right), found in the pocket of most wine-serving waiters walking around restaurants today. This thing works like a dream, and you can buy it for a song ($4-6). I gave away the other dozen wine openers to Goodwill.

Out of curiosity, I’d love to know where you guys stand on wine accessories. How many do you have? Does function follow form? Why?

Nov 02, 2009 in Wine

Great Pinot Noir under $20 -- Is there such a thing?

My palate says pinot noir is b a a c k in style. My pocketbook says fine, but only under $20.

I put a shout out to my pinot friends who are hooked on Russian River, Sta Lucia Highlands, Cote d Or, Cote du Bueane -- and they tell me don't bother with pinots under $35.

To this I say: B.S.

While I haven't spent a lot of time looking at pinot noir over the past few years, I am certain that there are great values to be found in the $14-20 range.

To prove the point, I recently found:
-Willowbrook (Mendo and Sonoma Coast)
-Alcina (Sonoma Coast)
-A to Z (Oregon)

So I'd like to pose the question to y'all on Chowhound to hear what you have to say...yes or no, pinot under $20 is worth exploring. And bonus points for sharing some names you really like in that price range.

Nov 02, 2009 in Wine

Why are organic wines so bad?

If your experience of organic wine is uniformly "bad," then you haven't yet experienced some of the world's greatest wines, which just happen to be organic.

For example:
-Storybrook Mountain (zinfandel, meritage, viognier)
-Tablas Creek (Rhone white and red varietals from Central Coast)
-Many Chateauneuf du Papes including Vieux Telegraph
-Moon Mountain - Sonoma based cab, cab franc, etc.

All of these farmers that I know could care less about the Organic designation as they do about the care and feeding of the soil and all around best environment to grow great grapes. Many organic practices just simply make better wine.

The Burgundian winemakers were famous for blowing out their soil with fertilizers and pesticides in the 60s and 70s, only to realize that taking it easy on the chemicals was a great idea.

Nov 02, 2009 in Wine