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Buying lobster at the dock

It sounds like the place behind Smokin' Jim's is a wholesale/retail place, is that right? That will be a great back-up if I can't catch anyone on the docks. It sounds like the docks towards Rocky Neck are the place to head especially if there's also a retail back-up there.

Gloucester here we come! (After Irene)

Aug 26, 2011
lowandslow in Greater Boston Area

Buying lobster at the dock

We have friends coming this week from Seattle and want to take them to buy lobster straight from the dock. We're hoping we can find a place where the lobstermen have just brought in their catch or some local shack super nearby where it was just brought in. We can go north or south. I'm thinking probably Gloucester but I'm all ears to hear your suggestions, tips, and experiences.

Thanks!

Aug 26, 2011
lowandslow in Greater Boston Area

San Sebastian >New Years

I´m going to be in San Sebastian New Years Eve and Day. My plan is basically to eat as many pintxos and drink as much wine as I possibly can. Should I be aware of things being closed either the 31st or 1st? Will everything be insanely crowded? What should I know about eating in San Sebastian at New Years before I arrive? Thank you for help/thoughts/suggestions/caveats--I´ve been wanting to eat pintxos in San Sebastian for ages and would hate to be foiled by not knowing something or other about how things go down at New Years

Dec 29, 2008
lowandslow in Spain/Portugal

help--ideas for mint

well, whoever finds a good one first can post it, deal?

Sep 13, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

help--ideas for mint

Hi HillJ, I was just reading through this post again since I now have even more mint and saw you'd asked this...I hadn't seen it before, sorry. Actually I don't have a mint chutney recipe, when I put that in the original post I was more saying one would come in handy at times like these (times with lots of mint that is) If you happen to find a good one, do share it.

Sep 09, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

Dad's approach to Dinner... your stories

My parents divorced when I was quite young too. At my dad's house we ate microwave pizzas and Nile Spice reconstituted soups for lunch. At first my dad tried to "cook" old el paso tacos with refried beans. But that gave way quickly to eating out everynight on our visits. Chinese food, Indian food, Mexican food, and my most favorite as a kid, Ethiopian. Ethiopian became such a favorite that when we visited every other Christmas we ate our Christmas dinner at the local Ethiopian restaurant which was open on Christmas unlike everything else in town. We adored this tradition. That continued until my dad remarried a woman who is a great cook and also thinks our Ethiopian Christmas dinner tradition is crazy. We still go to that restaurant and we know the whole family. The tiny daughter of the owner is all grown up now. Our crazy food traditions expanded my horizons--I cook my own ethiopian food now and always want to try new food.

Sep 07, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

When's the best time to go to Anchor and Hope

Nope I was there on Wednesday--just missed you. If you'd been at my table I'd have offered you a bite of the steak tartare as everyone became quite friendly.

Sep 05, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

When's the best time to go to Anchor and Hope

Just tried Anchor and Hope, we got in no problem at 6:30, shared table.
The shared table was alright-I thought everyone would just stick top there meal but we ended up having a good conversation with the others at the table and one couldn't finish his beef with chips and beanaise sauce and insisted that we had some. We did an it was juicy and beautifully seasoned, also soft, not too chewy as rare beef sometimes is. Lovely. I like the room and having just the plain wood tables, nothing fancy.

The roast squab with braised chicory, bacon, and damson was rich and gamey, the damson especially was a lovely, fruity complement to the meat. The sauce--I think a red wine sauce rounded it out. We tried the Hereford beef tartar as well--I wasn't as crazy about that though it was very high quality and I would think very good if that's your thing. The serrano ham with melon was, well, serrano ham with melon. Good, of course but nothing much to say there.

Thanks for telling me when to go. The dining room was packed to bursting 15 minutes after we sat down.

Sep 03, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

Help! Replacement for buttermilk in chocolate cake

Used lemon juice in milk in the end...turned out great. No sweat and turned in the paper too. Thanks all.

Sep 02, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

Help! Replacement for buttermilk in chocolate cake

well I guess that wasn't so hard--many thanks to both of you. Lemon juice and milk I can do and turn in my paper. whew!

Aug 29, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

Help! Replacement for buttermilk in chocolate cake

So I have to make a chocolate cake this weekend and I'm a bit stressed 1. because I'm not a big baker and 2. because I also have to turn in my masters dissertation on Monday (not that that's really relevant except that I need to make this cake with a minimum of fuss. ) I found what appears to be a very simple recipe. One layer--plain ingredients, kitchen tools I more or less have. Only snag is that it calls for buttermilk and I live in London (and while it may be available here--big city and all) haven't seen it. How central is it? Is there something I can replace it with? If you live in London is there somewere I can easily get it?

Here's the recipe if any expert bakers can tell from looking how I can work around buttermilk

Aunt Sabella's Black Chocolate Cake with Fudge Icing (from saveur.com)

Makes one 8-inch cake

We adapted the cake recipe from How America Eats and topped it with a frosting also in the book.

FOR THE CAKE:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
5 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks

FOR THE FROSTING:
2 1⁄4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
5 tbsp. cocoa
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
5 tbsp. hot freshly brewed coffee
1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Melt chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove bowl from heat and set aside until chocolate is cool. Meanwhile, grease an 8" square cake pan with 1 tsp. of the butter and set aside. Sift flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. Stir baking soda into buttermilk in another small bowl and set aside.

2. Beat sugar and the remaining 5 tbsp. butter together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, then add melted chocolate and beat until thoroughly combined. Add one-third of the flour mixture, then one-third of the buttermilk mixture, beating well after each addition. Repeat process to use all of both mixtures, then pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40–50 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack to cool in pan, then invert onto a cake plate.

3. For the frosting: Sift confectioners' sugar and cocoa together in a medium bowl. Stir in butter, then coffee, then vanilla, mixing well with a wooden spoon after each addition, until frosting is smooth. Ice top and sides of cake with frosting.

Aug 29, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

When's the best time to go to Anchor and Hope

thanks for the good advise--yes I do want the variety so a Sunday fixed menu isn't the best. I'm thinking maybe this 32 Great Queen St. option might be the best...

Aug 27, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

When's the best time to go to Anchor and Hope

Yeah--I hope I enjoy too. I've wanted to go since I moved here but since it's pricey I've been waiting for a good excuse. Anything you particularly recommend?

Aug 27, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

When's the best time to go to Anchor and Hope

thanks for responding--is the food the same at the Sunday lunch sitting as far as you know? small children and little old ladies...are you saying this is not the hipest of all possible times to choose to go eat at the A&H :)

Aug 26, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

When's the best time to go to Anchor and Hope

I want to take someone to Anchor and Hope for their birthday. The birthday falls on a Sunday and I see from A&H's website that they're open just in the afternoon Sundays. I've read here that A&H is often super-busy and hard to get a table at--does anyone know if Sunday is like that? Should we steer clear Sunday or should we go for it? Any Anchor and Hope aficionados know in general a good strategy for when to go to actually be able to eat without waiting forever? Thanks for your help!!!

Aug 24, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

help--ideas for mint

Now I've used up my mint and need more. These are good suggestions people...

Aug 13, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

help--ideas for mint

I'm not sure actually--I guess I'm not 100% sure of the difference. Do you know?
Thanks everyone for the ideas--sometimes when I get too much of something my mind just goes blank.
Summer rolls sound amazing right now.
Do you just use mint pesto on the same sorts of things you use basil pesto on? Is it something people make in Italy or more an innovation along the lines of black bean hummus?

Aug 12, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

help--ideas for mint

thanks for the idea JenBoes and for the link goodhealthgourmet--looks like there's plenty for me to work with

Aug 10, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

help--ideas for mint

my farmers market sells mint in such huge quantities that I keep not being able to use it all. We eat a ton of it in fattoush but I keep coming up thin on ideas to finish it all. Anyone with a breath of fresh air--ways to use up lots of mint without going in for lots of other out of the way ingredients? Maybe a good mint chutney recipe would be good...thanks for your help!

Aug 09, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

"art of mexican cooking" or "authentic mexican" -- which is better IYO?

that's really fascinating...which Bayless book do you use? I normally find Bayless to give such exact instructions, he goes on and on about little details, sometimes when i cook from other books I wish they'd give me as much info as he does. Maybe it's a learning styles thing or something?

Jul 11, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

"art of mexican cooking" or "authentic mexican" -- which is better IYO?

I might have to check out this cookbook club...

Jul 11, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

"art of mexican cooking" or "authentic mexican" -- which is better IYO?

My experience in general with Kennedy vs. Bayless is that Kennedy learns recipes from people in Mexico and records them nearly exactly as she learned them, Bayless also has tons of experience in Mexico but then he seems to work on the recipes and refine them. With Kennedy's recipes the food feels more rustic and simple, with Bayless there are often longer and more involved steps but the food is often to die for. I don't think you'll go wrong with either, just depends what you're after. I will say though that I've cooked more recipes from Rick Bayless' books than I can count and they normally come out ridiculously amazingly well. My friend from Durango thinks my tamales--from Mexican Kitchen and Mexico One Plate at a Time--are great and just exactly as they should be. Also, I think Authentic Mexican is Bayless' first cookbook and from looking at it he seems to stick closer to the basics than he does in Mexican Kitchen and Mexco One Plate at a Time. I've cooked a lot more from the last two. How does your cookbook club work?

Jul 10, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

Delicious but cheap places to eat in London? do they exist?

The only thing I really enjoyed at Wahaca was the Yucatecan Cochinita Pibil. I found their tortillas quite greasy--something that need not be the case. Their two salsas were tasty--especially the rojo. It's obvious that their tomatillos are canned but since the only fresh tomatillos I've ever seen in London were selling for 6 Pounds for about as many tomatillos it becomes more understandable. On the other hand surely they could get one of the farms they're connected to to grow them in summer--they'd grow fine here I think. The nopales were also canned but I don't think it'd be too easy to get fresh cactus paddles here.

In general--no--this food is not Oaxacan. They do have a mole coloradito on the menu--this is one of the Oaxacan moles--and when I go back I'll try it. I will go back since a friend here who spent the last two years in the DF (Mexico City) is obsessed with the Cochinita Pibil. They seem to be aiming for a more pan-regional thing which I'm open to seeing as how the audience here for the most part cannot tell Tex-Mex from Mexican (also the case in much of the U.S. so that's not a dis to England or anything) so asking people to get down to only Oaxacan seems a bit of a stretch. I haven't tried their Chicken Tinga yet either--this is a Pueblan dish which I love. I did try their Carne asada (more a Nothern Mexico thing) tacos--I think they just referred to them as charred steak tacos but sadly they really lacked flavor which again just doesn't need to be that way. How hard is it to marinate steak in beer, onions, garlic, and spices or any other of the innumerable variations on carne marinade employed by Mexicans and then grill it?

Unfortunately after only one encounter it doesn't seem to me that the restaurant is that serious about teaching London what Mexico's street fair is all about--most everyone there when I went was munching happily on taco salad served in a crisy shell--this is a U.S. side of the border abomination that is an insult not only to all Mexican food but to Tex-Mex too. Crispy shelled taco salad is the stuff of TJIFridays and other pre-fab American mall favorites. The only time I can imagine eating a taco salad is if I were at a retro Americana party at which the other items on the menu included say, pigs in a blanket, tater tots, tuna casserole, and jello salad. To me the fact of the crispy shelled taco salad is far more depressing than the spelling of the name (which did actually keep me from going for quite a long time.) For your amusement here's a link to a wikipedia photo of a taco salad in case you have not had the joy of encountering one in your travels. This is not a photo of Wahaca's taco salad but just a generic taco salad.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Fl...

It seems like the people who opened this place know enough to really be able to serve up some good Mexican food but it's not clear that they really truly want to do it. With the line out the door and half the place devouring taco salad it seems like they know their audience and are probably earning tons every weekend. I guess I could be wrong though--is there a grasshopper season in London? If so maybe they'll start serving chapulines--Oaxaca's favorite snack of grasshoppers fried with lime and chili--they're really yummy and hey maybe people could eat them sprinkled on their taco salads. It could be a kind of --I don't know--meeting people half way.

In spite of the higher price I prefer Taqueria any day.

Since this post was meant to be about cheap food in London, if you're going to the British Museum I recommend eating lunch downstairs at Hanna Supermarket at 41 Store Street. Upstairs you order bi bim bap or chili pork--both for 3.50 and then you eat them downstairs in a room filled with Korean videos and Korean students. It is not the unlimate bi bim bap (where's the egg!) but it's tasty and oh so cheap.

Jul 05, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

Mohsen, Kensington/Chelsea, London

I haven't tried Alounak yet either but I will now.

Jun 29, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

Mohsen, Kensington/Chelsea, London

Just wanted to thank people who've mentioned Mohsen on the board. I just tried it and it was really fabulous. The lamb skewers were moist and lots of olive oil. the cheese and herbs with naan was great--I really liked getting such a huge plate of herbs--kind of brightened up the whole meal. We also tried the chicken liver and mushrooms that had a great kind of soul food feel and the egg and herb Iranian tortilla-like starter with nuts was delicious. This was way more exciting and well executed Iranian food than I've had. I'm certainly no expert on Iranian cuisine (as you can probably gather from the fact that I don't recall what things are called) but it was just delicious, interesting and beautifully prepared food. We went to Patogh as well and though I enjoyed it (and would go back) the grilled food now seems dry by comparison. Oh--also the yogurt drink at Mohsen is super tart and salty in a most refreshing way.

Jun 27, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

London: Good Cuban sandwich?

Southwark Park is right by my house so I'll at least go for the music. It's so sad that there's no good Cuban food in London--a Cuban sandwich isn't even hard to make really. I guess I'll have to be sure to hit El Oriental de Cuba when I'm in Boston next month. I've heard that you can only get good food in homes in Cuba, I guess I just got spoiled by El Oriental. Meanwhile I guess it's burritos and Colombian bbq at the Carnival de Cuba for me.

Jun 24, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

What is your favorite cookbook of all time?

I second Romanmk's vote for Rick Bayless' The Mexican Kitchen. I have been cooking out of this cookbook for about 5 years now and the binding has come apart from such frequent use. I have loved everything I've made. People are always delighted with the food even really really picky friends from Mexico. Often when I use other cookbooks I feel small details have been left out so that I can never quite achieve what the chef achieved by following the recipe. Rick Bayless teaches you how to cook the food explaining the tiniest details so that the food you end up with often tastes better than what you could get in a restaurant--a very satisfying feat for a home cook. Happy buying anyway--I always love to get new cookbooks.

Jun 22, 2008
lowandslow in Home Cooking

London: Good Cuban sandwich?

We ended up eating at La Cubana last night as D. really wanted to go. It was more or less what you'd expect from such a place. The croquetas de boniato y chorizo con salsa had a slightly mealy texture. The chorizo tasted good but I'd have been happier to just eat a plate of chorizo. I couldn't taste the sweet potato at all. The salsa was reminiscent of the heavy-tomato-y marinara sauce you get for dipping chewy calimari in at low-brow Italian-American joints--Not a good sign. The pollo criollo was tasty though a little dry and the atun cubana was good tuna but nothing special or different. My mojito was very sweet and they were out of the Cuban beer. Seems this is more of a cocktail joint for those who like syrupy neon-colored cocktails. The salsa band that started at 11:00 was great though it was too crowded to dance.

I'm assuming from the lack of replies that there are no good cuban sandwiches in London--if you know of anywhere that has them--or something similar--please spill the beans. I've eaten great sandwiches along the lines of a cuban in the Dominican Republic so I know there might be other versions out there in other Caribbean or South American restaurants.

Jun 22, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

London: Good Cuban sandwich?

Does anyone know where I can get a good cuban sandwich in London? Has anyone tried Cubana near Waterloo? They don't seem to have Cuban sandwiches but I'm wondering if the other stuff is worthwhile. My bf has suddenly started jonesing for Cuban and we haven't seen anything in London. Thanks for your help!

Jun 21, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland

Some Places in Soho, London

that's the best thing I've heard in a long time!

Jun 20, 2008
lowandslow in U.K./Ireland