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Tuna Tartar - Jean George (at home..)


Had the tuna tartar at Market (in Vancouver) by Jean-Georges Vongerichten today. Very yummy. Googling around shows that he has some similar at a few of his restaurants. I tried recreating it at home and I'm close..... any one else have it / try recreating it at home?

Basically avacado puree topped with chopped fresh tuna topped with slivered radishes in a very gingery-soy broth. My attempt at the broth:

(measurements may be a bit off, was doing small bits at a time with much tasting)
very finely chopped ginger (1 tbsp)
very finely chopped garlic (1ish teaspoon)
tbsp soy sauce + a bit of kecap manis
tbsp mirin
2-3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1tbsp neutral oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (maybe less)
1 tbsp shiro miso (all I had... ) [maybe a bit more than this]

Smelled similar but was too sharp.. so I diluted it with 2-3 tbsp of water (maybe more). Missing was some sort of chile oil. It was not a sirracha style hot sauce. It was definitely some sort of oil as it was floating on the broth. Color was also off with mine being much lighter which I attribute to the miso I used. Flavour wise.. from what I remember from lunch 6 hours ago, it was 90% there.

Any ideas?

Sep 05, 2010
pickledgarlic in Home Cooking

Cookbook gift - Ad Hoc or Momo?

From above...

having picked up the momofuku book this week all I can say is "AWESOME".

I haven't been this excited about food in awhile. I much prefer it to Ad Hoc because I find Ad Hoc to be very familiar territory recipe wise. Momofuku is all out there and interesting.

Apr 30, 2010
pickledgarlic in Home Cooking

Hotspots with thick carbon steel on electric range, tips?



I'll give it a shot tonight.

Apr 22, 2010
pickledgarlic in Cookware

Hotspots with thick carbon steel on electric range, tips?


I just recently purchased two awesome DeBruyer carbonne plus pans. I've got the initial season going (upside down in a 450F oven with bacon grease, followed by rendering a few pounds of pork fat in both).

I'm a renter and gas just isn't big in my city for some reason. It's a decent electric range (flat), that I've been surprisingly happy with until now.

The problem is hot spots. I'm surprised, as they are so thick/heavy. I figured they would have been better at smoothing them out. I don't seem to notice them in my (thicker) cast iron pan. My one teflon pan is never used on high heat so I've not noticed.

Perhaps it's a high heat thing? I'm using them to sear and I'm finding the off-center hotspot giving me variable results.

The only thing I've found to be useful is to move the pan so it's not entirely on the burer (shifting the hotspot), but it's not ideal as then part of the pan isn't get heat.

Apr 21, 2010
pickledgarlic in Cookware

Cookbook gift - Ad Hoc or Momo?

I may be the only one but:

I really don't like the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. I love (and frequently cook from) Bouchon though.

The recipes don't do anything for me and they are no more or less complicated than those found in "Bouchon". Except Bouchon has a better variety, more interesting recipes, and a better explanation of technique. There are some complex recipes that are strictly weekend only cooking but a lot of quick gems can be found. Bouchon shows food that I aspire to make, and then takes my hand and guides me there.

Not sure about momofuku --glanced through it, but haven't picked it up yet.

Apr 21, 2010
pickledgarlic in Home Cooking

Foods you can't keep in the house because you can't stop yourself eating them


This entire thread and no one on the pickle train?

ANY vegetable pickle (outside of some of the odder (to my palate) asian pickles) will do.

I think the last batch (2 quarts ) of pickled onions I made barely made it into cocktails.

Dill pickled carrots. Pickled brussel sprouts. Sweet gherkins. Cornichons.

Slightly (2 minute) boiled carrot slices + lemon juice + sherry vinegar + cumin + olive oil + parsley + oregano + smoked paprika + garlic = crack the next day after marinading overnight.

I hear the Almond/pistachio/cheese love as well.

Cold beer in the fridge (oddly, cocktails / wine don't seem to disappear as fast!). I store mine at room temperature in the closet until I know I need to put it on ice. Or they just disappear fast after work, constantly.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt cups disappear instantly.

Oddly, I inhale 2-3 red cabbages a week somehow too. I blame it on growing up in cabbage country. Sliced thin with a red onion, some neutral oil, scandalous amounts of pepper, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, white vinegar, chopped pistachios if I'm feeling fancy. It's the perfect salty crunch and I've been eating it as long as I can remember (it's the first thing I remember my dad feeding me). I've got the misses addicted to it too. Stains like no tomorrow though.

Apr 01, 2010
pickledgarlic in General Topics

Buying Paneer in Vancouver?

Hey gang,

I've never come across Paneer in Vancouver. I suppose I can make my own but it's always nice to have a local source when I don't have that kind of time to plan ahead.

There has to be somewhere that sells it. The closer to downtown the better!

Any ideas?

Things I ate/drank in college that I will never eat again

I drank some pretty horrible things at Uni. I vaguely recall Alcool (canadian version of Everclear) straight chased with a sip from the HP BBQ sauce bottle --that got you going when you were 19.

The worst is what we foistered on other people:
1) Flaming sambucca. In the mouth. On fire. It's all fun and games until you spill a little (drunk hands) and take off someones eyebrows (whups!).
2) Silvovits. Shudder. Prune brandy from Serbia? Why... why did I own this bottle. One night when the frosh were out in force in the student ghetto we got rid of it on them. Everyone likes free drinks right? Mixed in the mouth, 50/50 with jager (from germany). I think we called it the "ethnic cleanse" at the time. Gross.
3) Vagina shots --2 oz of gin with the juice from a can of tuna, fed to an obnoxious drunk guy at a party who would not say no to a dare
4) Forest fires - 2 oz of gin with enough tobasco to turn it pink
5) Bad memories of a nasty birthday shot for my 21st. A series of them. A carbomb, followed by a tequila, followed by 50/50 black sambucca and tobasco (sticky gross death), followed by a run to the bathroom. The bar didn't bounce me because I wasn't actually drunk --I just had to get it out of my system.
6) Any variety of a terrible drinking sport known as "pubgolf". Par 1's are painful.
7) I recall someone (obnoxious drunk guy at a party... ) drinking blowjobs out of lubed condoms. We lied and told him they weren't.

Late night bar food I miss:
The ultimate donair plate from one of the donair guys (I have yet to see anywhere else). It was basically a cross of poutine (if you live in Ontario/Quebec you know what I'm talking about) with donair. Perfect. Layer of fries, layer of onions, tomato, garlic spread (garlic, water, white bread), donair meat, garlic sauce, hot sauce, cheese curds) baked in the oven. It was heaven at 2:30 am and sorely missed.

Nov 23, 2009
pickledgarlic in General Topics

Scored a cheap kitchenaid; dough hook usage?

Hey folks,

I scored a cheap kitchenaid mixer at a yardsale. Clearances are fine, it mixes fine, but I'm having problems with the dough hook.

I've tried varous recipes (that include stand-mixer directions) and it never quite seems to work. Total flour volume is typically 4 1/2 - 5 cups. The dough initially looks like it is getting kneaded, but eventually just forms around the hook and kind of "spins in place" without getting kneaded much, such that after 10 minutes it's not really kneaded much at all. Nor can I get the dough, to do as per instructions, clear the sides but stick to the bottom of the bowl.

My question: is this normal? I've been a hand-kneader for awhile so I have no idea. Is my kitchenaid mixer just too big for 4 1/2 - 5 cups of flour and should I be using more (aka: is it not kneading properly because there is too much bowl, not enough material)?

Help would be greatly appreciated.

Feb 07, 2009
pickledgarlic in Home Cooking

Cookbooks for taking it to the next level?

Hey gang,

I do own a lot of cookbooks these days (as I'm sure all of you do), some classics, some oddities, some strange used-bookstore finds (the little book of big sandwiches is actually a goldmine)... but I'm always trying to notch my food up to the next level. To make my food less 'busy', simpler (does not mean quicker!), but well better at the end of the day.

My tastes lie more french/italian than anything else, though I have cooked an awful lot of indian and thai when the cravings hit me. I'm more looking at technique, doing simple things well, but also 'fussy' things, plating, building a cohesive meal rather than just one thing. Maybe something simpler than The French Laundry.

Some things I do own: les halles, River Cottage Meat, mastering art of french cooking I and II, the new book of middle eastern food, all about braising, molto mario, charcuterie, new spanish table, the old world kitchen, several Jamie Olivers (I know, I know, but there is a few gems to be found in there), Hazen, a CIA manual (I use mostly for diagrams of cutting up chickens, trussing things, etc), on food and cooking.

I'm not afraid of fussy, getting my hands dirty, or finding good ingredients. I'm ok with pickling, jamming, curing (bacon, hams, etc have had some success in my house), smoking (mostly fish) and I'm getting better at deboning/hacking up larger cuts of things (most of the time).

I've been eyeballing reviews of things by ducasse (but which one?), waters (again, which one?), keller (maybe Bouchon?). I'm sure there are others.

Is there one (or several) decent cookbooks out there for the determined amateur wanting to bring the food up to the next level, rather than "quick easy short-cut 20 minutes only" blah cookbooks. I've had several breakthroughs this year and "ah-ha!" moments which have only made me rethink what I'm cooking and how I'm doing it. Food blogs and local restaurants have made me think more about how I present it, and things that work together, rather than just 'following' a recipe. I like to know why.. how... more inspirational works rather than just a list of ingredients and directions.

What was the cookbook that really solidified your cooking skills? I'm trying to become more intuitive with my cooking, better at creating a cohesive meal (or 2-3 courses), less following a checklist of recipes. I mean, this comes naturally just by cooking new things, often, but maybe there is some text(s) that I would find very useful.

A cook's book has been mentioned elsewhere, but I browsed there it and found it wanting. Has anyone had any experience with Jame's Peterson (Cooking, or Sauces, or both?)? Anything by Ducasse worth-while?

Jul 08, 2008
pickledgarlic in Home Cooking

Reusing cheese cloth?

Hola gang,

I made my first batch of cheese today ( a simple lemon paneer ). I'm left with this surprisingly expensive hunk of cheesecloth (atleast in vancouver). I don't really want to to toss it everytime I make cheese as that will get prohibitively expensive.

What do you guys use to press cheese with?


- m

Sep 02, 2007
pickledgarlic in Cookware

Oops. I meant Bread Baker's Apprentice.

I got my copy last week and I'm smitten.

I have the starts of a sourdough civilization that is plotting to take over the world (but will settle on just the back-left corner of my fridge) going, my roomies comment on "what the hell is this sludge taking up all the room for" for the various poolish's and biga's sitting around in there.

I have barely dented the thing. Too many good recipes, too many good thoughts, LOTS of good background reading. Though, if you are mixing by hand, be warned as there is no advice on that other than a few paragraphs about "all this stuff can be mixed by hand".

So if you are a complete novice, some google-fu to find proper hand mixing/kneading techniques could be of help. I find that 'the bread bible' by Rose Levy Beranbaum (not the beth hespengers one), is a good accompaniment due to the hand kneading tips alone.

Aug 20, 2007
pickledgarlic in Home Cooking

Lordy Lordy... Wheat Free? What the @#$%^#%?

A good source would be gluten-free girl:

The links down the left side also point to gluten-free food bloggers and other sites devoted to gluten-free stuff.

It could be a useful starting point and I directed a friend of mine recently there who just found out she has a wheat sensitivity.

Aug 20, 2007
pickledgarlic in Home Cooking

Knife dilemma - Good price on Henckels Stylus set, but is it worth it?

I don't really like the cheap henckels.

I've gotten good mileage out of my MAC pro, which I picked up for a reasonable $80 CAD. Light light light, feels good in the hand, keeps an edge like no tomorrow.

The Tojiro DP- series ( I believe) for $50 USD is often raved about for "best bang for your buck"

I stray away from "sets" of knives too, lots of crap I don't need and not usually anything good unless I'm paying top dollar --in which case I'm getting ripped off. As someone mentioned above, a chefs knife, a paring knife, and a boning knife. I keep a chinese vegetable slicer handy (slim butcher's knife basically) when I need to rip through a bag of onions or carrots --I find the scooping action very helpful.

Aug 20, 2007
pickledgarlic in Cookware

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

Buy 5 pounds of garlic you plan to pickle, on a lark. Then realize you have to peel it all.

You learn. Fast.

My hands staaank.

Jul 27, 2007
pickledgarlic in Cookware

Best Knifes Not you whole paycheck?

One other thing..

for the love of god, handle the knife if you can.

I can't stand the forschner (SP?) handles. Something about them just doesn't feel good in my hand. I have big hands too and I found the Global handles lacking. The MAC fits my hand just right ($75 cdn hit the price right too).

If the handle sucks, for you, no matter how well the rest of the knife is it won't get used.

Invest in a good sharpener too, and don't store you're shiny new toy in the cutlery drawer.

Jul 27, 2007
pickledgarlic in Cookware

Best Knifes Not you whole paycheck?

The Tojiro DP 240mm gyuto ( for $50 USD is awesome.
I have a 8" MAC Professional ($75 CDN from the asian supply store) that I swear by.

A surprising heavy hitter in my kitchen is a un-named thin vegetable cleaver from (apparently) japan I got for $20 at the asian place. Carbon steel wrapped in stainless. Holds an edge like no tomorrow and gets an awful lot of use. A chef's knife is nice but if I'm doing bulk chopping I like the cleaver. The scooping action is useful and unless I'm doing really really delicate work, the end product is as good as my chefs knife.
I suggest this guy: as a starting point for cleavers (well more of an end point) really.

Jul 27, 2007
pickledgarlic in Cookware

knife sharpening

I just got myself a good japanese water stone and learned how to do it by hand on my old (spare) knives. $15 for a fine grained one and I maybe run my knife across it once or twice a month. I've never had to get any larger grain (for some serious grinding) as I haven't put any giant dings in the knife that have required it.

GroceryGuy ( has a good tutorial on how to sharpen a knife (search his site). Works like a charm for me.

Jul 27, 2007
pickledgarlic in Cookware

Completely Lost - Help Please... ;_;

I have no idea what the type of pan is called... I have 2 of them though:

12" and 14" across and 2 1/2 - 3" deep (straight walled sides), fits a lid. 1 is teflon and 1 is all-clad.

They get the most use out of anything in my kitchen.

Pan pasta sauces (arrabiata sauce etc), curries, burrito filling, doubles has a second wok when I'm in a pinch, large amounts of bacon. It fills a nice niche between frying pan and dutch oven when there is some, but not a lot, of liquid involved.

The all-clad one does heavy duty searing meats and then going in the oven to finish.

Jul 27, 2007
pickledgarlic in Cookware