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Accuracy of Digital Thermometers?

In advance of the holiday cooking, I am checking the accuracy of my digital thermometers. Sitting in a jar of warm water, three thermometers show three different temperatures -- a full 10 point difference. Ten points means a lot, to say the least, when roasting meats. Any similar experiences? Any advice?

The three thermometers all are relatively new, used frequently, and name brands.

Nov 19, 2012
Ichabod in Cookware

Pickled Quail Eggs

Asian markets and groceries carry

Sep 04, 2012
Ichabod in Recipes

Gluten-free roux? [moved from General Topics]

I am making a chowder that requires a standard roux. Will a roux made with gluten-free flour hold up to the heat and the milk in the chowder? I have some xantham gum, if that might help, but am unsure how to use it in this situation.

Nov 22, 2011
Ichabod in Home Cooking

"Souffle Vendome?"

I recently read an article about souffles in the Wall Street Journal that mentioned a Souffle Vendome, saying "each portion has a whole poached egg hidden at its center". I am huge fan of souffles and a huge fan of poached eggs. The thought of them both together is delicious. But I've been unable to find anything, much less a recipe, for the Vendome. Can anyone help?

May 10, 2011
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Servietten knodel (German bread "dumpling)?

Any advice on making a servietten knodel? It is a savory German dish made of bread and eggs, rolled into a sausage-shaped log, and then simmered in water. I'm planning on tackling it this weekend and am looking for any "dos and don'ts." I'm especially curious about rolling and cooking it -- it needs to be wrapped and tied tightly in something: plastic wrap? cheese cloth? an impeccably clean kitchen towel?

Sep 02, 2010
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Crop Vodka?

Does anyone know where I can buy Crop vodka? Had some last week in New York and am now on a mission to find a bottle in the Balt/Annap/DC area. It's very, very good.

Chicago markets & eating well?

I just learned I will be in Chicago (for the first time) over the weekend. What and where are the urban markets? Also, any "must-do" suggestions for eating well would be really appreciated.

Jan 26, 2010
Ichabod in Chicago Area

Ombu in Winston-Salem?

I am headed to Winston-Salem, North Carolina next week and am looking for some thoughts and recommendations on a restaurant called Ombu. It comes highly recommended to me and the online menu looks pretty good. Can anyone help?

Dec 10, 2009
Ichabod in Southeast

Heading to Sei this weekend ...

I am heading to Sei this weekend and would love to hear some recommendations and observations.

Pizza & Fried Chicken in Frederick, MD?

Any recommendations for:

1) Carry-out pizza and
2) Carry-out fried chicken

... in Frederick, MD?

B&O American Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco, Baltimore

I had lunch today in the B&O Brasserie, the restaurant in the brand new Hotel Monaco in the B&O Railroad building in downtown Baltimore. The building appears to have been meticulously restored. The restaurant is a two-level, modern space -- the bar, an open kitchen, and a few tables on the first level; most of the seating is on the second. It's a beautiful spot with lots of dark colors, leather, and a mix of banquettes and tables. They don't have a menu posted online yet so I was a little in the dark until we got there.

The menu has both creative and traditional American-esque choices. I had some excellent gazpacho with crab meat; my companion had a very disappointing seafood "chowder" (though it lacked seafood and wasn't a chowder). The menu includes a list of flatbreads, which I had and really liked, and some routine and not-so-routine sandwiches (turkey club, burgers, chicken breasts).

I am anxious to go back and try some of the other things: some of the other small plate appetizers sound good, the salads look interesting, etc. I'd like to hear some other opinions.

Service was very attentive. Prices are on the high side.

Anniversary weekend trip to Annapolis

I echo the recommendations for Lewnes and O'Leary's and suggest you also take a look at the following:

Cantler's: very casual, mostly outdoor, traditional Maryland crabs and seafood.

Harry Browne's: beautiful spot directly on State Circle and across from the State House; it's a formal, traditional place.

Les Follies: superb, classic French food.

Jalapenos: loads of Spanish (and a few Mexican-inspired) tapas

Mike's Crab House: straight-down-the-middle Maryland crab house

Most of the spots downtown are "touristy" and should be avoided. But the downtown can be a colorful, fun place to spend an evening; there are only a couple of places worth trying: McGarvey's, Cafe Normandie, Joss. Avoid all the others.

Cooking a whole pig this weekend

I am cooking a whole pig this weekend. I've borrowed an amazing cooker from a friend and will pick up le cochon, a 60 pounder, tomorrow. I am looking for any advice, tips and words of encouragement (especially the latter). My inclination is to cook it slowly for six-to-seven hours and then start taking its temperature. Any help is much appreciated.

Jul 30, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Luna del Sea?

As daynasch says: "terrible food at high prices." Definately stay away.

Watermelon Juice?

I had an extra watermelon that I juiced using a food mill. The result was a couple of quarts of spectacularly beautiful and very tasty watermelon juice. But I'm unsure what to do with it. I went ahead and froze it in ice cube trays and am pretty sure it's going to end up in some cocktails. Does anyone have some suggestions, cocktails or otherwise?

Jul 10, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Tonic water?

All the commercially available tonic waters are way-too-sweet for me and have way-too-much HFCS for me. Does anyone have any recommendations. I can occasionally find some "Q Tonic Water," but at three bucks for an eight ounce bottle, I'm glad it's only occasionally. I've read about an British tonic water called "Fevertree" but can't find it anywhere in the Washington DC area.

Jun 25, 2009
Ichabod in Spirits

Looking for Langoustines

I, too, love langoustines. But I've never seen fresh ones in the area. Trader Joe's does sell them frozen, though. I've made a very simple -- and very popular -- appetizer by warming a bag of defrosted langoustines in clarified butter. I served them with a sprinkle of salt and parsley. They cook amazingly fast so only warm them over very low heat.

Inner Harbor Restaurants?

I, too, echo bordeauxfan's recommendations. Stay away from the Inner Harbor as there is nothing there but Mall food.

steak in ocean city md

You might consider Liquid Assets at 94th Street in Ocean City. I've eaten some good meals there over the past few years.

Shrimp for Easter dinner?

I will be serving stuffed shrimp this Easter Sunday -- butterflied, stuffed with a crabmeat mixture, topped with a simple egg-based sauce, and then quickly baked in the oven. It's a tad non-traditional, of course, but is a nice alternative to the usual heavy holiday menu.

Apr 06, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Restoring copper bowls?

I found two beautiful old copper mixing bowls in an antique store. When I went to clean them, I discovered that they had been coated with some sort of lacquer, some of which is still adhering to the copper. I don't know how to remove it and am reluctant to take a too-harsh, lacquer-removing chemical to the surface. Any ideas?

Mar 25, 2009
Ichabod in Cookware

Irish salmon ideas?

Thanks.

I have a beef brisket corning and plan a "traditional" Irish corned beef dinner -- boiled vegetables, soda bread, etc. While I like smoked salmon (a lot), I think it might clash with rest of the table. That's why I'm looking for a lighter alternative, e.g.: cured salmon.

Mar 10, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Help in Wilson, North Carolina

I will be traveling to Wilson, North Carolina several times in the coming months and need CH recommendations for places to eat. So far, I've seen chains and fast food. Ugh. Please help with suggestions in or near Wilson!

Mar 10, 2009
Ichabod in General South Archive

Confit duck in own fat?

I regularly put a whole duck in a slow cooker overnight at the lowest setting. I add nothing but salt and pepper. After several hours, the meat will fall apart confit-style and you will be left with a lot of beautiful, clear golden duck fat (put it through some cheescloth to strain everything out first). The meat makes for delicious salads or tacos or whatever else you can think of. The fat is pure, delicious sin. The amount of fat will depend on the size and fattiness of the riginal duck.

Mar 10, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Irish salmon ideas?

I thought I would add some type of salmon to the menu for an upcoming St.Patrick's Day dinner I am hosting. I know smoked salmon is traditional Irish but am considering some type of cured salmon -- something along the lines of gravlox -- as an alternative. Any ideas or suggestions?

Mar 10, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Re-seasoning cast iron?

I was given a couple of very old cast iron pans that are in terrible condition. Can they be cleaned and then re-seasoned? They are covered in a sticky gunk and grease. I tried washing them (no luck) and also put them in a slow oven for an hour or two (no luck). Any ideas?

Feb 16, 2009
Ichabod in Cookware

Guanciale in Baltimore

I echo Dmnkly's endorsement of the guanciale at DiPasquale's. It is first rate.

Watery custards?

From time-to-time, when I make egg-based puddings and/or custards, the finished product will contain a thin layer of water in the bottom. I thought I could solve the problem by using a water bath to control (and moderate) the heat but to no avail. I made a corn pudding this weekend, cooked it in the water bath, and, voila, the layer of water was there. Any help?

Feb 09, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Corn my own beef?

Thanks for this. I've been reading some recipes but there's nothing like this kind of advice. Curiously, some of the things I've read say corn the meat only for a few days (3-5 days) and others say, as above, that it should be kept in the brine for at least a coupla weeks. I like the longer-is-better approach. Regarding the "stuff" to keep the meat pink, I think it is salt peter (potassium nitrate). I'd appreciate any thoughts about this.

Feb 07, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking

Corn my own beef?

I plan to corn a beef brisket for a St. Patrick's Day dinner I am hosting. I've done my homework and have what appear to be the right recipes, etc. But now I am looking for some advice from others who have already done it. Tips and suggestions, please?

Feb 06, 2009
Ichabod in Home Cooking