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Izanami, Santa Fe: izakaya returns to NM

We just spent two nights at TTW, booked Izanami for both nights and had lunch there the day we checked out. I agree with you, finlero; it wasn't all amazing, but there was certainly enough to keep us entertained over 3 meals with the regular menu and the daily special features. The wakame salad was the best we've had in North America, I think, and if you are there when udon noodles are on the set lunch menu, you will be well-rewarded. We played with the Japanese beers, and the ginger brew was our favourite. The set lunch menu is a terrific bargain at $17.00, and we found everything else very reasonable. We tried the wagyu--it was pleasant, but not the most interesting of the options.

The room is beautiful; even as spa guests, we didn't mind the "busyness", it was a nice change. We had a service issue at our lunch that was remedied effectively and graciously.

I hope SF supports this enterprise so it will be thriving next time we visit.

Mar 28, 2014
painperdu in Southwest

Frozen Eggs

I use the frozen egg whites for meringue/dacquoise cake all the time.

Dec 28, 2013
painperdu in General Topics

October 2013 Cookbooks of the Month, THE FOOD OF PORTUGAL and THE NEW PORTUGUESE TABLE: Meats; Poultry

Pot Roast Terceira Island Style (The Food of Portugal, p. 126)

I needed to clean out the fridge on a blustery Sunday afternoon, and this looked like a good bet to help me accomplish that goal. I don't have a benchmark pot roast recipe, so I don't know how this one compares, but it was flavourful and satisfying. It starts with sautéing bacon and aromatics (onions, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and cloves), then a braise of tomato paste and a bottle of wine. It cooks for the first two hours and 425; turns; and cooks for another hour at 325.

In the spirit (!) of fridge clean-up, I used 2 cups of white wine and 2 cups of broth. I was surprised that the recipe called for white wine instead of red, but it added a nice sharp piquancy. The "gravy" was very rich, maybe a result of the broth? Or the half-cup or so of onion paste from 660 curries I threw in?

I was also somewhat surprised at the high cooking temperature, but in the Crueset casserole, all was good. I don't know if this is special enough to warrant "keeper" status, but as a non-pot-roast person, I was well-pleased.

Oct 24, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month August 2013: MEDITERRANEAN HARVEST by Martha Rose Shulman

A general comment on this book, because I honestly haven't been inspired by anything in the specific sections and it is due back at the library. I have appreciated her "tips and tricks" and I have picked up on a few of those...the refrigerator vinaigrette and the basic tomato sauce (for the freezer) are just a couple that made the book a worthwhile browse.

Aug 16, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Stuffed; Meat; Fish

Slow Cooked Veal with Prunes and Leek (p.206)

Hard to believe I am the first poster on this one, but I cant find another report. This is essentially an osso buco, although it is suggested oxtail can be used because osso buco may be harder to find...not for us, rather the reverse!

This is a multi-stage affair, good for a cold winter day. Brown the steaks; saute onion and garlic; deglaze with wine; create a sauce with tomatoes, beef stock, thyme,bay, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, alspice and star anise. All goes into a foil-covered baking pan for 2 1/2 hours. As the recipe suggests, you will need to check periodically to make sure liquid hasnt completely evaporated. Recipe proposes adding additional water, but I used left-over beef stock and tomato.

Then meat and marrow are pulled off the bone, prunes and sauteed leek are added, and back into the original pan in the over for another hour.

We served this with plain rice and the roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad (p 62). And, as recommended, a yogurt sauce with lemon, garlic and parsley (I mixed them all up rather than serving separately because I misread the instruction...does it make a difference?)

Maybe because we have been thrilled with everything else from Jerusalem, maybe because I was sick of looking at it after 4+ hours, this one didnt drop our jaws. I will see if my enthusiasm picks up for left-overs later this week.

Jan 23, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Stuffed; Meat; Fish

I am surprised this one hasnt had more take-up. Maybe its those potatoes. Too deadly in the January diet days. But delicious!

Jan 23, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Stuffed; Meat; Fish

Sacrilege Alert: We made this with pork, and on the barbecue. Held together welll, great flavours. A keeper for us.

Jan 23, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Stuffed; Meat; Fish

The spicy carrot salad would be great with this. Just enough complementary flavour, not too much competition!

Jan 23, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Vegetables; Beans & Grains; Soups

We had some ancient woody carrots to deal with, this was the perfect treatment for them. I hadnt stocked up on harissa, subbed some Chinese chili sauce instead. And I forgot the arugula, too...but we ended up eating them as a side to a chicken chili. These were a great complement to the mole sauce. I agree the half-hour meld time is important, as is the direction to saute the onion for 10 minutes. Might be easy to short-cut but the slower longer time really sweetens the onion and adds to the flavor profile.

Jan 23, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Vegetables; Beans & Grains; Soups

We made this to go with the slow-cooked veal shanks (p. 206). Maybe too much of a good thing! There is so much going on here, I would serve it again as a main on its own, or a side to a less complex main. Pomegranates are out of season now in our grocery stores, but the POM cups are around. Yay! And i really liked the thinly sliced celery.

Hazelnuts at 17 minutes worked well for me. They had a nice deep flavor.

Jan 23, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

Does Anybody Really Like Fennel?!

Check out the COTM thread for this month, where the chicken with fennel and arak from Jerusalem is getting unanimous rave reviews.

Jan 17, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Stuffed; Meat; Fish

We have done this one too...I am sure it will be popular. It is worth including the fennel, it was my favourite part of the dish. It takes up the other flavours, especially the orange, and amps up the mild anise scent. We served with roasted squash. Definitely a keeper.

Jan 01, 2013
painperdu in Home Cooking

October 2102 COTM: 660 Curries -- Legume Curries, Vegetable Curries

One-Pot Potatoes in a Red Lentil Sauce (Aloo Masoor Dal) Page 552

In under the wire with this one. Loved the way the lentils made a real gravy for the potatoes. It made a stand alone dinner dish for us (although, given our recent travel to Italy, we are looking to cut back a bit...). Author suggests variations...using turnips instead of or in addition to potatoes, and adding spinach. We tried the half-turnip version (rutabaga, if truth be told). I would do one or the other. The potato and the turnip have different cooking times and one of the pleasures of this dish is the texture. I supppose you could cook them separately before adding to the lentil mixture, but that would get in the way of simplicity, which is the other big feature of this dish. The spinach is a great addition...adds colour and complexity, especially for a one-dish meal. Like others, I have found some of the techniques in the book to be revelatory...in this recipe, it is the spice mix and the finishing lime juice.

Oct 31, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

October 2012 Cookbook of the Month: 660 Curries

Yes, I agee with boogiebaby and others. I havent been able to cook as much out of this as I would have liked (life happens) but I am really looking forward to having this thread as a resource in the future. And count me as one who enjoyed the participation of the author. Like Nomadchowoman, I think it enhanced rather than distracted from the discussion. I havent been an active COTM participant in the past, and that was an attractive feature for me this month. But I also get the moderators rationale, and would support finding some middle ground on this if full participation has been problematic in the past.

Oct 31, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

Voting Thread November 2012 for Cookbook of the Month

Mine last Tuesday. Here's to Libras!

Oct 19, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

Voting Thread November 2012 for Cookbook of the Month

Back to voting. THE BEST SOUPS.

Oct 19, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

Traditional dinner in Torino?

With some trepidation, since I am by no means a Torino expert, having spent a grand total of 5 nights here and three of them on business, and in the absence of other suggestions, I offer Ristorante La Smarrita on Pzza Carlo Alberti. Our hotel suggested it as a Sunday evening option. We ate on the terrace, my partner had the more traditional Piedmontese menu and I had the chefs cotto/crudo menu (smoked duck in orange sauce, pasta in goat cheese/chive dressing, veal in a most interesting presentation and a wine mousse with baba (Barbara) and biscuits....I am not doing it justice, but I didn't know I would be doing this review!). Interior very traditional, apparently the salon of Cavour back in the day. Exterior with a view of the illuminated Library and the Risergimento Museum pretty special. Service initially frosty, but thawed over the course of the meal. It was a great "arrivederci" experience for us, and might meet your requirements as well.

Oct 07, 2012
painperdu in Italy

Traditional dinner in Torino?

I can't help you with the traditional restaurant, but I am high jacking the post to thank you for cuing us to Consorzio. We had dinner there earlier this week and it was one of the highlights of our 3 week stay in Italy (Dolomites, Mantova, Piemonte, and Florence). The tasting menu was very well done (including a very clever egg/bacon/bean antipasto and a supernal panna cotta), and they proposed a wine that was elegant and appropriate, and half the price of what we had intended to order. So, thanks for that tip buried in this request,to which I hope you get a good response.

Oct 07, 2012
painperdu in Italy

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Bread, Cheese, Eggs, Seafood, Meat

It would be interesting to know how this would work with a stronger flavored fish like salmon, rather than a more neutral white. Look forward to the report, Breadcrumbs!

Sep 16, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Bread, Cheese, Eggs, Seafood, Meat

Pesce Spada Alla Ghiotta P. 175

This is swordfish "glutton style". Calabrians must have a different sense of what constitutes gluttony, we found this to be an easy, tasty and healthy fish treatment that calls for quickly searing the steaks, and simmering them briefly in a pan sauce of fresh tomatoes, capers and green olives. We needed to clean out the fridge in advance of a trip (to Italy!), so we used mahi mahi instead of swordfish. We were able to use the last of the summer tomatoes in the sauce. The green olives really made the difference for us, loved the texture and the flavour. We didnt have the suggested parsley, I think that would freshen up the taste even further. Served with rice and roasted cauliflower. Would certainly do this again.

Sep 16, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

Voting Thread October 2012 for Cookbook of the Month

BISTRO COOKING AT HOME. Something to look forward to as fall approaches.

Sep 16, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

September 2012 Cookbook of the Month: My Calabria

I havent had much time with this book...it took some time to get it from the library, and now we are off to Italy tomorrow for three weeks (Piedmont and Alto Aldige, not Calabria, but still...). I know I will get no sympathy. We were able to do one fish recipe, which I will post in the appropriate spot. I did want to say that I regret not having been able to do more with this book, I really enjoyed browsing through it and I learned a few things. I am sure I will come back to it with the benefit of all your experiments and reports.

Sep 16, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month Companion Book, Raising the Salad Bar: Basics, Leafy Greens, Chicken, Meat, and Seafood

As you used it in this recipe...to flavour chicken in a sauce or dressing. I think I am just not keen on sweet meat unless it has a whole lot of punch, as in Thai or Chinese dishes.

Aug 31, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Thai Beef Steak Salad (Page 161?)

The page number is a question mark because PB has already gone back to the library, and this review is coming in under the wire.

This is a really fun recipe for a family group. With just two of us, it is a lot of prep work and leftovers, but still worthwhile. It calls for a marinade (ginger, garlic, chiles, peanuts, fish sauce); a salad platter (watercress, napa cabbage, Thai basil, beans, carrots, cucumber and tomatoes); and a condiment tray (sugar, lemongrass, more peanuts and chiles, green onions and limes). And a dipping sauce—pra hok, fish sauce or miso. Once grilled, the meat strips are dredged through the sauce by each diner and rolled up in a Boston lettuce leaf with as many of the salad ingredients and condiments as appeal and fit.

I made a standard Thai dipping sauce (sugar, vinegar, garlic and chile paste) rather than the other suggested sauces and used that instead of sugar standing alone as a condiment (just couldn’t get my head around sugaring my meat). And we found some of the accompaniments worked really well (watercress, tomatoes, cabbage) and others didn’t seem to add much (cucumber, beans). Because every bite provides a different set of tastes, the overall effect is very satisfying. Even without a starch or other dish, we left the table feeling full and looking forward to the leftover reprise.

Aug 29, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Thanks for highlighting this one, blue room. I've copied for future reference.

Aug 28, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month Companion Book, Raising the Salad Bar: Basics, Leafy Greens, Chicken, Meat, and Seafood

Raspberry vinegar is really over at our place. Is anyone else still keen?

Aug 28, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

jam or jelly that crystalizes soon after opening jar

...and better than corn syrup.

Aug 28, 2012
painperdu in General Topics

Banned Pantry Items

+2. Alan Wong has a great Kailua pork recipe with 2 ingredients...liquid smoke and aluminum foil (and lots of time).

Aug 28, 2012
painperdu in General Topics

August 2012 Cookbooks of the Month: Planet Barbecue and Raising the Salad Bar

I have enjoyed browsing PB as an anthology (it goes back to the library today). Maybei it's me, or summer, or the weird weather, but most of the recipes appear to require more ambition than I am able to muster. I mostly think of barbecue when I don't want too much fuss. For things with immediate appeal, i am having better luck with RSB,

Aug 10, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month Companion Book, Raising the Salad Bar: Basics, Leafy Greens, Chicken, Meat, and Seafood

Caitlin, I think you remedied the only element of this recipe that didn't work for me. I made/assembled the components in advance to take for a cottage dinner. It was perfect for that...lots of fresh flavor and color and an attractive presentationon a big platter. I used farmers market green beans, and more than recipe suggested because they were so beautiful. The dressing didn't really stand up, and I wondered if it was the bean surplus. Next time I will amp up the acid, and there will certainly be a next time.

Aug 10, 2012
painperdu in Home Cooking