Non Cognomina's Profile

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JFX Farmer's Market 2010

I picked up some lovely freestone peaches from Reid's Orchard yesterday. As I was leaving the market, I stopped at a guy who was passing out samples of "West Virginia Peaches" in the little triangle median between the main market and the annex. I don't remember the name of the farm, but it is their first year at this market and they have been relegated to the annex (which is mostly crafts). They had peaches (freestone yellow and white flesh), nectarines (yellow and white flesh), italian prunes, apples (honey crisp and ginger gold), and tomatoes (which looked okay but I did not buy). Everything else was excellent quality, and the stone fruit was the best I've had this season. Wish I had known they were there sooner.

Aug 30, 2010
Non Cognomina in Washington DC & Baltimore

What was the first thing you learned to make?

A mess. And then I cleaned it up. At the end, there were chocolate chip cookies.

Feb 05, 2010
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Anyone been to Ten 01 lately?

Overheard a conversation about it, but have any hounds eaten there lately? Latest reviews I could find on the Pac NW boards were from 2007. TIA.

Feb 05, 2010
Non Cognomina in Metro Portland

Issues with searching "Ventura"

Wanting to be a responsible hound, I tried a search specific to restaurants in the city of Ventura. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to exclude results for Ventura County and Ventura Blvd in Los Angeles County. Is there a way to do that? If not, can exclusion options be worked into the search function? Thanks.

May 18, 2009
Non Cognomina in Site Talk

What mustn't you run out of?

That's my list, too!

If I had to pick just one thing, it would be butter. Two pounds is par in my house.

May 18, 2009
Non Cognomina in General Topics

ISO Ventura (city) resto with Low Sodium menu

I'm looking for a restaurant in the city of Ventura with a Low Sodium menu. I know that many restaurants can make accommodations for low sodium needs, but this is for a birthday dinner for a young man for whom this is a new restriction. He LOVES good food, and has not been able to dine out due for several weeks (he usually goes out a few times a week). Having a menu with lots of options for him to choose from would be awesome.

The man is disabled, so the area is limited to Ventura (city).

TIA for any help! Hey, even special needs hounds deserve good food!

P.S. I tried a search, but kept getting things on Ventura Blvd in L.A. County. My apologies if this is a redundant request. Thanks.

May 18, 2009
Non Cognomina in Los Angeles Area

Private group of 11 in Calistoga or St. Helena

Private dining rooms in the Valley usually come with a significant fee. For example, the smallest private room at Brix seats up to 12, but has a food and beverage minimum of $1200.

http://www.25degreesbrix.com/privated...

Many restaurants (including Brix) have patio seating that is usually available by late April. Your group may find al fresco dining more fun than a PDR.

Feb 11, 2009
Non Cognomina in San Francisco Bay Area

desserts a lot of people do not like but you do?

I love real butterscotch anything--pudding, custard, sauce, ice cream, cake, etc. But it is so difficult to find REAL butterscotch anything. Most people are only familiar with the "fake" butterscotch stuff (think instant pudding), so I don't blame anyone for having a poor opinion of it.

Feb 11, 2009
Non Cognomina in General Topics

desserts a lot of people do not like but you do?

I had that for dessert twice last week! Perfect for cold winter weather.

Feb 11, 2009
Non Cognomina in General Topics

Norway Wins the Bocuse d’Or Competition

I suppose that goes to show "the reach of a chef" with reference to Thomas Keller.

Jan 28, 2009
Non Cognomina in Food Media & News

Favorite Winter Ice Cream Recipes?

I love ice cream, too. Here are some of the flavors I've made this season:

-Peppermint (vanilla base, peppermint oil, crushed peppermint candies)
-Eggnog (sub eggnog for milk in anglaise base)
-Pumpkin Spice (pureed pumpkin, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, milk and cream)
-Butternut Spice (same as above)
-Ginger (which you've already played with)
-Banana (steep bananas in hot milk for 30 minutes. Cool and strain. Use milk to make anglaise)

Of course vanilla, chocolate, and butterscotch are good any time of year.

Jan 28, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Oat groats - looking for (sweet) breakfast & dessert ideas

Are you toasting the groats before you cook them in liquid? I've found it makes a big difference in the flavor of the finished dish. I have had success with making groat "pilaf" by toasting the groats in a hot pan for 2-5 minutes, adding some fresh rosemary towards the end. Then add a little olive oil or butter and some crushed garlic and cook for another minute. Add enough liquid (I like beef stock, but chicken stock or water will work--add some salt if you use water) to cover the groats. BTAB then cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. It's delicious if you drizzle a little toasted sesame oil and top with grilled portobellos.

Leftover groat pilaf is tasty stirred into beef stew, or makes a nice salad mixed with diced cucumber, red onion, dried currants, and dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, rice vinegar and fresh herbs.

Jan 28, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

About coconuts

Thanks much.

Jan 23, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

About coconuts

Can you name a specific market/store with location? I'd love to pick one up the next time I'm in NYC. TIA.

Jan 22, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Yountville: Ranch Market Too?

Yes. It's not bad, but I think they really cater to the tourists. It feels like a "staged" Napa Valley "experience." I've tried a few of their panini. I thought they were okay, but nothing I'd return to eat again. I'd rather go across the street to Bouchon for the tartine du jour.

I'm looking forward to summer, though, as NapaStyle has what seems to be a lot of patio seating. A glass of wine with some cheese and charcuterie on the patio sounds divine. Of course, that's more about ambiance than the food.

Jan 22, 2009
Non Cognomina in San Francisco Bay Area

About coconuts

Are they the coconut bars shown here:

http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/cookie...

If so, the recipe was popular in the 1950's in the United States. My grandmother used sweetened shredded dried coconut in similar recipes. The recipe listed in the Gourmet link calls for a generous 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar total, so using the unsweetened dessicated should work for you.

I have a question for you DW, still on the topic of coconut. I seem to recall a tool from the PI used for shredding fresh coconuts. A flat oval with sharp "teeth" and a long arm/handle, all made of metal. One would place the handle of the tool on the seat of a chair, place a board on top of it, sit on the board straddling the tool, and scrape a halved fresh coconut on the teeth of the tool. A bowl placed on the floor would catch the fresh scraped coconut. Do you know what the tool is called? Or where I can get one?

Jan 22, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Yountville: Ranch Market Too?

rw, I was the op of the quote you have above, from April 2007. Ownership of the deli has changed hands, and unfortunately the sandwiches are now very disappointing. The prices have gone up, the variety has gone down (selection of meats, cheeses, etc) and the hours that the sandwich counter are dwindling (possibly due to the slow down of the economy and business in the Valley). So sad.

The market itself is still well stocked with speciaty foods, condiments, trinkets and post cards, etc from Wine Country, many of which cost less than you'd find them at Winery gift stores.

Jan 22, 2009
Non Cognomina in San Francisco Bay Area

About coconuts

Hi DW. I'm guessing you are again looking for products available in the PI for baking recipes you've found on US based websites.

In the US, dessicated coconut is dried and available sweetened or unsweetened. It has less moisture than "shredded" or "flaked" dried coconut, which is frequently sweetened before dried. For the most part, these dried products can be substituted for each other, unless the recipe specifies otherwise. I would not suggest substituting "sweetened" for "unsweetened" and vise versa if the recipe calls for one or the other.

Fresh shredded coconut is not a suitable substitute for dessicated coconut in a recipe.

Jan 22, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Chili Cook-off advice needed

I have found that in all culinary competitions (both professional and amateur) that I have participated in, watched or judged, there are two rules of thumb to follow for success:

1. Know your audience/judges. If you were participating in fundraiser for a grade school and your judges were 10 years old, I'd say tone it down. But this is for co-workers, and there are "hot" and "dangerous" categories, so you'll have competition and everyone involved knows to expect some spicy stuff.

2. Cook what you know how to cook, the way you know how to cook it, and the way you like it. Stated another way, "to thine own self be true." If you "have a recipe that people love and [have] made maybe 50 times," then go with it. It doesn't matter that not everyone will be able to eat it (although it's thoughtful for your to be thinking of everyone). It sounds like there will be LOTS of chili to choose from. Don't disappoint those folks who may have already tasted and loved your chili.

As for the categories you listed, unless there is a rule book dictating things like viscosity (consistency) or requirements for specific aromatics, then the judging is going to be based on the preference of the taster. So have some fun, and good luck!

Jan 22, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Muffins with a crown?

You may also want to try adding a little bit of baking powder in addition the soda in the recipe. Soda provides leavening when interacting with the acidic ingredients in the batter. Powder has the additional "double" rise of reacting first to the acid in the batter, and again when heat is applied. Additionally, acidity in strawberries varies greatly depending on ripeness, variety, and processing (fresh vs. IQF vs. canned), etc. It's hard to give you specifics regarding how much to try without knowing the recipe and method for making the muffins.

Jan 22, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Vegan Dessert Recipes

Vegan Chocolate Cake is the answer! Recipes for "Crazy Cake" or "Wacky Cake" abound on the internet:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Crazy-Ca...

I like to bake as directed in a 9x11 pan, let the cake cool, then cut, stack and frost the cake. You can make vegan "butter cream" with vegan margerine, cocoa powder and powdered sugar. For a mocha cake, sub brewed coffee for the water in the cake recipe.

If you were thinking of making sorbet, a nice blood orange or clementine sorbet would go nicely with the cake.

Jan 19, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Croque monsieur and variations

I once had a "Bonjour Monsieur" sandwich in New Orleans. It was ham and cheese on a grilled po boy roll with creole seasoned bechamel. I thought it would have been better with an egg on it, but I guess that would make it a "Bonjour Madame.)

Have also had a "Croque Cubano" in NYC, which was basically a cubano sandwich (roast pork and swiss with pickles and mustard on grilled roll) with bechamel. That was a delicious sandwich!

Jan 19, 2009
Non Cognomina in General Topics

The science of Ice Cream??

Here's a link to what some scientists have to say:

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci...

Additionally, while 32F is the freezing point of water, I believe that ice cream is kept at 0 F or lower in the grocery. And while your thermometer may read 19 F, it may be warmer on your terrace, especially if the ice cream container is on a surface that me be warmed from the sun or heat inside the building, or if the container itself is in the sun.

Jan 17, 2009
Non Cognomina in General Topics

Where do chefs retire to?

Sorry, but when I first read this topic I though with incredulity, "do chefs actually retire?"

I would think that when chefs get too old to cook for themselves, there would be a long line of younger chefs who were inspired/mentored by them ready to cook them any number of meals, regardless of where they were living.

Jan 17, 2009
Non Cognomina in Not About Food

Sous-vide.

I've only tried it with watermelon (seedless). The texture is smoother and firmer than watermelon--more like a cantaloupe. The flavor and sweetness factor is intensified by the compression. I first tasted it at per se, although I don't remember what it was served with. I've since had it at Bouchon and Ad Hoc in Yountville, both times cubed and served in the salad course. The best thing of all (in my opinion) is to eat it out of hand--not creative, but oh so good!

Jan 17, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Roquefort sauce - trick to boiling heavy cream?

Use as wide a pot as possible. The greater the surface area, the more quickly the cream will reduce. Use a much bigger pot that you think you'll need--cream has a tendency foam up when it boils. As has already been mentioned, use medium high heat to get it to just below boiling, then reduce heat and stir constantly while it simmers to desired consistency. Good luck.

Jan 17, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Sous-vide.

A sous vide cookbook titled <Under Pressure> was just published a few months ago, written by Keller, et al. There are some beautiful photos and "recipes." Gives lost of ideas, too.

http://www.amazon.com/Under-Pressure-...

If you have the cryovac machine, try compressing chunks of melon. They become dense, intensely flavored morsels, and do not require cooking.

Jan 17, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Sous-vide.

cassoulady, what you are describing isn't actually sous vide. Your ziploc bag method does not create an anerobic environment, thus botulism is less of a concern. Sous vide translates literally as "under vacuum. Harold McGee comments in this post:

http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

Jan 17, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Licorice Ice Cream?

I'd use anise oil rather than anise extract. It disperses better in the cream base, and gives a fuller flavor in the finished ice cream.

Jan 09, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking

Licorice Ice Cream?

And black food coloring yields black teeth/tongue when you eat it!

Jan 09, 2009
Non Cognomina in Home Cooking