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ZoeLouise's Profile

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Worth finding an ultimate restaurant in Amsterdam?

Hi,

I've enjoyed quite a few meals at Greetje. I would call it solid and enjoyable, but I had the impression that their success has somehow gone to their head... So we went to the Hartering brothers across the street last time and we loved it! They serve a no-choice menu with some wonderful ideas. My only quibble: the food is put on a serving plate and you serve yourself as their tiny kitchen doesn't have room to dress single plates. So you'll dribble dressing on the tablecloth as you try to balance a sardine across the table...

Nov 23, 2013
ZoeLouise in Europe

Chiang Mai, Raming Tea House Lapis Cake

Thanks for the hint. And while the recipe for kueh lapis sounds right, the flavouring doesn't: the cake at Raming Tea House tastes flowery/fruity and not spicey.

Alternative to chicken feet for gelatin in bone broth ?

I always use a calf's foot, which I buy blanched and split (lengthwise). Superclean, no prep at all.

Jan 30, 2013
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Chiang Mai, Raming Tea House Lapis Cake

Raming Tea House is in Tha Pae Road outside the moat and we found it a heaven of peace in the big city.

But much more important is their "Lapis Cake" a rich layered cake with a very special fragrance. Quizzing the waitress only produced "cinnamon and lemon" and I'm positive that there is no cinnamon in it. I'm guessing Osmanthus? Flowery and fruity and downright intoxicating I would say.

So, anyone going to Chiang Mai, this cake is worth every sin* and if you have any idea what that heavenly taste could be, please report back!

*this from a firm believer in cheese only and I-don't-like-sweets-person

Bangkok and Chiang Mai planning

Just back from Thailand and I liked Huen Phen in Chiang Mai - lunch more than dinner. Pork reigns and the fermented pork ribs are to die for (if your like fatty meat). There is a "Northern food selection" or similar dish on the lunch menu, which translates into a selection of sausages: very tasty. It also features pork rind, which you may get addicted to - we bought huge packs at Warorot market to see us through the rest of our trip.

Another place to visit is the Raming Tea House on Tha Pae Road for a cup of tea or coffee and their Lapis Herb Cake: a divine layered cake flavoured with osmanthus flowers and lemon.

sweet thai/chinese roasted almonds

I've just come back from Thailand where I bought a packet of roasted almonds which have a very nice and peculiar taste to them. The only way to describe it is "cake-like". Unfortunately I have thrown away the packet (shrink plastic bag)... Does anyone know what the spice for these roasted almonds might be? I bought them in the market in Chaing Mai and they were also sold in various Chinese villages in the north. They look like ordinary untreated roasted almonds - no visible sugar or oil on them.

Why won't my bread rise?

Bread is not an exact science. Professional bakers will adjust their recipes to the weather, a new batch of flour, the moon ...
Some things to help:
Use bread flour. You may have to add more liquid, but your bread can rise higher without collapsing.
Do an autolyse: mix liquid, flour (and any preferment) and let rest for half an hour.
Then add yeast and mix the dough, adding salt towards the end. Add any fat only when the dough is fully developed.
Give your dough time. As others have said, it will take much longer in winter. I personally add a little more yeast in winter.

Dec 23, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Fondue- should I follow this lead?

I rub the caquelon with a clove of garlic, then stir cheese and wine over a low flame. Once this is hot, add a slurry of potato starch (or corn flour) and Kirsch (Schnaps, Eau-de-Vie), about 1 tablespoon of flour and a shot glass of Kirsch. Give it a brief boil, season with nutmeg and/or pepper and put on the rechaud.

The amounts of cheese and wine are fairly flexible. John's recipe sounds as good as any. Before you add the slurry, just see if the whole thing is too thick or thin, keeping in mind that the slurry will thicken the fondue slightly.

You'll need the rest of that bottle of Kirsch to aid digestion and revive your guests after the fondue.

Dec 23, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Making my first pate

Paté is very easy and I find it not time consuming at all.

Chop an onion and saute in butter. Add garlic, if you like. Add half a pound of chicken (or duck) livers. After 5 minutes, add some thyme (or sage) and a tablespoon of tomato concentrate. Brown everything well and then add a cup of wine or stock. Or both. Use whatever you like: dry red, white, sherry, port, chicken, veal or beef stock.... Let cook until thickened. Pour the contents of the pan into a high bowl and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest and add 1-2 tablespoons of capers and 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Blend with a stick blender. Fill into a serving container and chill. Make jelly (sherry or port, stock, salt, gelatine) and pour on top of the paté. Chill again.

Of course you can change the flavour by adding chili peppers, porcini, using orange instead of lemon, you get the drift. Just be generous with the butter.

Dec 23, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve, what's on the menu?

Ha, for me Christmas Eve is tonight, as I will travel on monday and tuesday. We will have:

Creamed salt cod in piquillo peppers, parsley oil
Savoy cabbage rolls with porcini (and a heart of goose liver paté)
Roast lamb shoulder on autumn vegetables, Romesco sauce
Cheese and nuts, figs and pears
Tarte Tatin with quince and whipped cream

The cod is creamed, the cabbage blanched, the quince compote and the dough for the tarte are ready. Romesco sauce sitting in the fridge. Baked bread as well, as if this weren't enough...

Dec 22, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

brutti ma buoni, macaroons, amaretti- what other cookie recipes call for egg whites?

Tuiles, I love tuiles.

Dec 21, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Help with goose and sides

I second the red cabbage with apples and would add dumplings to that: either potato dumplings or bread dumplings (Semmelknoedel). In Germany, mugwort (Beifuß) is mandatory with goose.

Dec 21, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

NY Times No Knead Bread Recipe-my crust is too hard!

Do you pre-heat your dutch oven? Long enough?
Does your bread have a crust before you put it into the oven?
Like greymalkin said, you could mist the bread before you put a lid on it to help create steam. You want the bottom of the bread to get HOT to help oven spring and you want the top of the bread to yield to the rise - the first is done by your hot dutch oven and the latter by a soft dough or slashing and the lid which contains any steam.

Dec 21, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Help with Christmas dinner please!

If you want to go with the Boeuf bourgouignon, I suggest you follow Julia Child, like here: http://www.food.com/recipe/boeuf-bour...
I use meat from the shank (better) or shoulder. If you prepare this one day ahead you can braise as long as it takes, without having to time it exactly. It is really very easy.

Dec 20, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Help with Christmas dinner please!

I like to make Melanzane Parmigiana for Vegetarians. You can prepare the roasted eggplants and the tomato sauce, even assemble the whole thing with mozzarella and parmigiano and then just pop it in the oven. But it is important to serve this not piping hot, kind of lukewarm is perfect.
For the meat-eaters you could prepare Boeuf Bourgouignon the day before. It gets better when reheated.
Both dishes would go well with Malfatti: http://www.delallo.com/recipes/malfat... , made without the tomato sauce in this recipe. They should be cooked à la minute, but you can prepare the mixture and form the dumplings ahead of time. Store in the fridge and then just cook in batches. Not much work and time. I have even cooked them in advance and then reheated in sage butter, but they are better fresh.

Dec 19, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Braising a boneless leg of lamb

If it is braised, I would simply put it on the stove on a low flame. You will probably finish the sauce on the stovetop anyway?
Potato gratin takes 30-40 minutes in my house.

Dec 19, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Help! - gravad lax

Something like that. Just taste it and see.

Dec 19, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

2 lbs of Blue Cheese...

Perfect with roasted brussel sprouts. Or spinach. Or radicchio.

My favourite blue cheese sauce consists of concentrated beef stock, a bit of creme fraiche and blue cheese. Leftovers can be smeared on toast.

Dec 19, 2012
ZoeLouise in Cheese

Help! - gravad lax

I have soaked over-salty gravlax in water with good results.

Dec 19, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Can I make this potato casserole ahead of time?

I would cook the bacon, the onions and the broth the day before, but slice the potatoes and cook the casserole just in time. If you use a mandoline for slicing the potatoes, this won't take much time - just take extra care of your fingers.

Dec 17, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Critique my menu, please? (Really need input on the roasted pear with blue cheese...)

Make your roasted pear with blue cheese either a starter or a dessert and don't repeat the pear.
A Carbernet Sauvignon is feasible, but a sweetish white would fit the pear and cheese far better. I would suggest a Gewürztraminer for the starter version or a Sauternes-like wine for the dessert version. Keep the red for the beef.

Dec 16, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

check out my menu

I would lose either the potatoes or the Yorkshire pudding. I would also use at least one vegetable which is in season, but then I don't know where in the world you are...

Dec 14, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Sourdough Starter

This is a great and very active starter: http://carlsfriends.net/ The wonderful people will dry it and send it to you.

Dec 13, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

dessert for a diabetic

Berries and dark (>70%) chocolate are very well feasible for diabetics, as are all kinds of fatty dairy.

I would actually make a real mousse au chocolat, made with eggs, chocolate, cream and a little espresso.

Stay away from baked goods.

Dec 13, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Would you eat 11 month old guanciale?

Smell. Taste. If the fat has gone rancid you will know. As you said that there is no mold, this is the one thing which could have happened.

Dec 12, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

How to jazz up presentation saucy sortribs w/?? starch

Soup plates for your entree if you want to serve lots of sauce. So place polenta in the middle, top with meat and carefully pour sauce around. You'll need very steady hands serving this. The problem with this is that there is virtually no place for the vegetable. I have often seen this in restaurants where they serve really small courses, so if you create a seperate course for your vegetables, it could work nicely.

Dec 10, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

How to jazz up presentation saucy sortribs w/?? starch

Always serve on the largest plates you have.

One trick is to create height. This would mean making a heap of mashed potatoes (or similar) and leaning the meat on that so it goes as high as you dare. Dribble a bit of sauce around this centerpiece. You could use celery root puree and stick a deep-fried slice of celery in the centre of the puree to gain even more height - very dramatic.

Vegetables tend to crowd the plate if served in realistic portions. Sugar snaps or green beans are good as they have a nice form, but to make the plate dramatic, you should only put a very small pile on it. Half a dozen sugar snaps neatly arranged or some green beans wrapped in bacon and you're done. Just put the rest of the vegetables in a serving dish on the table. Same with sauce: we all love it, but it looks awful when the rest of the food seems to drown in it.

Salad: dress your greens in a bowl and then arrange them on the plate like a bouquet of flowers. Use your fingers. Arrange toppings on this like you would create a painting. I like to use soup plates for salads. Use different greens: lamb's lettuce, aragula, endives, radicchio. Add roasted nuts for the festive accent.

Dec 09, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Inexpensive Christmas dinner for 8, but NOT turkey

Lamb's lettuce with roasted sunflower seeds and oranges, Boeuf Bourguignon made with beef shank, mashed potatoes and carrots, Tarte Tatin.

Dec 07, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

If you were making a Bûche de Noël to go with this meal...

Black forest for me, but then I grew up there! And a brief look at the Chow recipe confirmed my suspicion that this is not the original... But it would be very easy to make a real Black Forest Buche: chocolate sponge as for swiss roll, cherries in thickened juice/syrup, lots of cream and some Kirsch (Schnaps / eau de vie) to soak the sponge.

Dec 07, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking

Bread Baking at Home

That's what I make of it, together with overproofing, too much steam and too hot oven. As we probably don't add Vitamin C, that shouldn't be our problem.

Dec 07, 2012
ZoeLouise in Home Cooking