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where to draw the line on "authentic"?

you forgot 'wholsome'!

May 02, 2011
j_cro in General Topics

the epicurean institute in umbria...worth the money?

Thanks! I'll pass the advice on. Where did you get your certification,if you don't mind my asking?

Apr 05, 2011
j_cro in Italy

the epicurean institute in umbria...worth the money?

Hello All

My sister is interested in becoming a sommelier, and thought their program sounded appealing. I know a lot of cooking schools and such tend not to mean much to restaurants looking for employees, is it different or somms? the course promises certification from the ais (Italian Association of Sommeliers). has anyone either completed or contemplated this program? is it a huge waste of time and money to certify in this way? any feedback from somms, restaurant owners, or people who have taken the course would be much appreciated!

Apr 04, 2011
j_cro in Italy

Looking for a post-wedding brunch place in Portsmouth, help!!

Check out Rudi's, they have a delicious sunday brunch menu. They are a smaller place, but can easily accomodate your numbers. The service is great, the atmosphere is beautiful (art nouveau bar, taupe walls, they usually have a jazz trio). They are right next to the parking garage, so only one block away from the 100 club.

www.rudisportsmouth.com

Sep 29, 2010
j_cro in Northern New England

Foodies who sail, a dilemma!

I am going on an overnight sail this weekend, and am totally stumped as to what to cook and bring. Challenges of no refrigeration (though temps should stay blow 60), sogginess, and pleasing a group that contains two very carnivorous sorts (one of whom dislikes spice, so my thoughts of curry are nil) with a pseudo vegetarian. Not to mention keeping especially moist foods like soups off the menu due to sloshing. Any experienced at sea chefs? Or at least just some good thoughts! Thanks you

Sep 29, 2010
j_cro in Home Cooking

(Maine) Island Lamb

there is a stall at the portsmouth farmers market, i am embarrassed to say i can't recall the name of the farm, but they sell cuts of lamb and goat from a maine farm.

Jun 09, 2010
j_cro in Northern New England

My Fajitas were Inedible... What Did I Do Wrong?

There hasn't been much talk about salt yet. I find that especially when i marinade if i add salt to red meat while it cooks it gets rather tough on me. without a sear on the meat, all your moisture from both the fat of the meat as well as your marinade end up as a black syrup that adds a rough dish washing experience to the already untasty meal.

Apr 09, 2010
j_cro in Home Cooking

Kinda complicated, kid cooking dinner advice needed

i would opt for a couple of template dishes. for example, you can make a marinara sauce or soup following the same instructions and using the same skills, so in a short period of time she gets the basics, but a couple recipe cards send her down different paths. whats more, both sauce and soup can be pureed, which eliminates the need for honed knife skills. dishes like paella and curry also follow similar steps but with very different seasonings, yielding two supposedly different dishes.

if the family is vegetarian geared, i find that stuffing tomatoes or peppers with rice/bulgur wheat/etc along with whatever veggies are best loved is very simple, easy to make ahead and transport, and always delights and impresses company.

she is really lucky to have someone like you.

Apr 06, 2010
j_cro in Home Cooking

Foodie Wedding Gift

what about a piecemeal paella kit? saffron, smoked paprika, really nice arborio rice and real chorizo with a bottle of their favorite white. good eat it cold in bed food for the honeymoon, and the more expensive ingredients take it out of gift basket territory and into the realm of personal and thoughtful. if you are a cutesy type, you could opt to wrap it in a good paella pan, though i think that would take you past $100.

Apr 06, 2010
j_cro in Not About Food

The Main Maine goal HELP!

i grew up in eliot, one town north of kittery, and now live on the nh seacoast, so i've tried a goodly number of each.

a higher end indian place by the name of Tulsi just opened in downtown kittery, easily the best indian on the seacoast and definitely worth the price and wait. a group of seven of us all got different dishes and we shared them all, each one was heaven. while waiting, we walked around and found a wood grilled pizza place had just opened around the corner. i haven't eaten there yet, but read that it is the pet project of the head chef of anneke jans, so there is some promise there.

as for bars, the location of the shipyard keeps the local options a bit lower end and occasionally skeezy, i would head to portsmouth, as it is just across the bridge.

again, if you don't mind crossing the bridge, i find that the two best fish markets in the area are Philbrick's Fresh Market in portsmouth and Seaport Fish in rye. locals will send you to sue's, but i have twice purchased questionable fish from her. even though i lived 5 minutes from sues i would drive 20 to get the fresher options in nh.

oh, and if you want good chowda and someplace that is open, drive south on 1A until you hit Petey's in rye. far superior to bob's in price and quality, you also get to sit down if you prefer (bob's has seating, but no serviced tables) and the beer is reliably cold. not to mention the lovely drive and view.

hope that helps some, let me know what you look for in a bar and i can hone my recommendation further.

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Philbrick's Fresh Market
775 Lafayette Rd, Portsmouth, NH

Seaport Fish
13 Sagamore Rd, Rye, NH

Apr 06, 2010
j_cro in Northern New England

I never eat _______ out because nobody makes it right but me.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? Innovative, and apparently delicious results, have often been the frugal chef's brainchild. I had a friend who worked at a restaurant who was shocked to find they made croutons out of their stale bread (he obviously isn't much to speak of in a kitchen-he was waitstaff). If grinding up all the edible leftovers creates a tasty and consistent flavor, I'm game!

Mar 31, 2010
j_cro in Home Cooking

What do you make that is SOOO easy yet you impress yourself every time you make it?

I always add a couple sour apples (peeled/cored/sliced) at the beginning with the onions, the sweeten it up and give a great depth of flavor. I add curry and cinnamon to mine, not enough to really taste, just enough to notice something fun going on.

Mar 31, 2010
j_cro in Home Cooking

Mellowing out red onion in a bean/grain salad?

I just had a similar predicament with a carrot salad with raw red onion; the onion flavor stared overwhelming everything else after it sat overnight in the fridge. i added a little sugar and some medium diced cucumber, which mellowed it enough for it to taste good. The onion is still rather strong though, maybe I'll try lemon juice next.

Mar 29, 2010
j_cro in Home Cooking

Best Portsmouth Area Breakfast

sorry, probably should have mentioned in my original post that the golden egg is a favorite stop of mine. i've been well over 10 times in the past couple years, and tried various menu items all to much satisfaction. their homemade granola featuring parfait is great, and actually has fresh rather than frozen fruit. every egg i've had has been perfectly cooked, the bearnaise is homemade and beautiful. also, their baked goods are fairly good. and they are definitely cheaper and more customer friendly than the supposedly amicable toast or colbys.

Mar 22, 2010
j_cro in Northern New England

Mo Jo's BBQ Shack - Islington St., Portsmouth, NH

from what i've read, mojos is a really hit or miss sort of place; the consistency of even the same menu item is dubious, and the dichotomy of delicious and atrocious on the menu is broad and risky. but their sauces are very good, we purchased not only the arkansauce but two bottles of the hot sauce the offered at the table. well balanced, flavorful, definitely of the finger licking variety. the sides were almost inedible (we had the very dry mac and cheese, oily collard greens, and definitely frozen corn), but i found the ribs to be tender, and subtly smoky. worth trying out, but not all around exquisite.

Mar 19, 2010
j_cro in Northern New England

Best Portsmouth Area Breakfast

unfortunately, the breakfast scene is very limited. i personally would rule out colbys and the toast both for being overpriced for the bad service (at the toast, the service is legendarily awful amongst us locals). one alternative though, a number of the better restaurants in the downtown area do a sunday brunch menu. Radici's is decent, the frittata was delightful, but I would rather recommend Rudi's, as their food is consistently beautiful and delicious, if lacking a little creativity. www.rudisportsmouth.com

Mar 19, 2010
j_cro in Northern New England

Taco Trucks in New England?

Not a truck, but Loco Coco's in Kittery Maine (right over the bridge from Portsmouth NH) is the best mexican i have ever had, including two trips to Mexico. The fish tacos in particular are superb, even if they aren't on wheels!

Mar 10, 2010
j_cro in Southern New England

Traci Des Jardins's Caramel Sauce

mm, billow, i too prefer my language foul to poor. like burnt caramel, bitter on the tongue. lovely sauce, by the way.

Mar 06, 2010
j_cro in Recipes