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josephnl's Profile

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How to "split" a check equitably?

In my group of friends, such behavior would be considered extremely rude and gauche. You and I would never be friends. When I dine with friends, the assumption is always that the check s split evenly. Now, if one person wants truffles or caviar, or someone consumes no alcohol while others do, this is always amicably taken into account when "splitting" the bill.

Friendship always involves some element of "give and take". To expect others to always be "fair" and to do what you would do, is a lifetime recipe for disappointment!

about 13 hours ago
josephnl in Not About Food
1

ElC's Pete Peeves re: Resto Service

With 4-6 diners at a table, someone's likely always chewing! It's very tough to please everyone, but I appreciate a server who tries!

2 days ago
josephnl in Not About Food

Bistro @ The Venetian

Unfortunately your post arrived too late. We've dined at Bouchon several times and have always enjoyed it. We thought we would try db Brasserie for a change. It was good, but not great. Bouchon, as you say, is better in almost every way.

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Las Vegas

Best omelet pan?

Obviously, it is possible to avoid browning eggs in a steel pan, but as you note, it requires low heat and care to do so. That's probably why most professional chef's such as Jacques Pepin (as you've also noted), Wolfgang Puck, and many others use n/s pans. In general, I'm not a big fan of n/s, but for eggs, that's all I use.

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

ElC's Pete Peeves re: Resto Service

With well trained professional servers who are attuned to being very attentive right after food is served, a checkback should not be necessary. Nevertheless, as you say it is pretty standard at good restaurants in the US, and I am never offended by this obvious attempt to please, and do not comprehend why anyone should be.

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food

Best omelet pan?

Respectfully disagree. From multiple posts here, friend's experience, and YouTube videos, is is very apparent that it is quite difficult to cook an omelette in a carbon steel pan without some browning. I very much dislike the taste of browned eggs. N/S pans cook omelettes beautifully without browning!

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Do I really need a dutch oven?

Glasses I've broken, dishes I've chipped, but my LeC Dutch ovens have nary a scratch!

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Cookware
1

ElC's Pete Peeves re: Resto Service

I would agree that at the very top restaurants it is generally not necessary nor appropriate to verbally inquire as to whether or not everything is okay. Nevertheless, at most restaurants where we eat on a regular basis, I certainly am never offended by this type of inquiry, and maintain that it is pretty much de rigueur and appropriate. I very much disagree with the op's position except possibly at very top perhaps Michelin-starred restaurants.

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food

Best omelet pan?

Thanks Kaleo for posting that video. I've had omelettes at La Mere Poulard, and they are indeed light and wonderful!

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Do I really need a dutch oven?

Obviously weight is extremely important in your household and if that is the most important criterion, aluminum such as Magnalite wins by a mile. Since you do not use tomatoes or other acidic foods in your Magnalite, that also is not an issue. On the other hand I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say that enameled cast-iron is fragile. I've had 2 LeC Dutch oven for 25+years, use them at least weekly, and both look like new.

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Best omelet pan?

You are indeed absolutely correct. The most famous omelette restaurant in France (indeed some say it's where the omelette was invented) is La Mere Poulard in Mont St. Michel. They serve hundreds of omelettes a day and have since the mid-1800's and none has any filling...just pure eggs which are whipped to death in a copper bowl then cooked with lots of delicious butter in a wood burning fireplace/oven. Extraordinary in it's simplicity!

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Bistro @ The Venetian

We're wanting a nice French bistro dinner ideally at The Venetian. Which is better db Brasserie or Bouchon?

Dec 16, 2014
josephnl in Las Vegas

Best omelet pan?

You're probably right. I didn't get into any details with the salesperson at SLT when she told me that the pan had a ceramic coating. Nevertheless, the pan is great!

Dec 15, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Best omelet pan?

I'm very happy with a ceramic coated n/s Scanpan that I bought at Sur la Table about a year ago. I bought it after the salesperson told me that I could bring it back for a refund if at any time I was displeased with it. I use it only for eggs, always use butter rather than any spray, never use any utensils other than a silicone spatula on it (I flip my over easy eggs in the air), always hand wash it, and after using it 2-3x/week for a year, it's like new. I actually love it (although if truth be told, the el cheapo Teflon coated pan I had before was also very good)!

Dec 14, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Visiting Laguna Beach for a week - need recommendations

I think (and most of my friends agree) that the food at Javier's is dreadful. Even that taco chips that they serve with mediocre salsa or guacamole, are awful...greasy and just plain bad. Javier's at Crystal Cove is a pretty restaurant, but stands out as a pick-up joint and not as a serious Mexican restaurant,

Dec 14, 2014
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Do I really need a dutch oven?

I have 2 LeC ovens, one round and one oval. On the stovetop, after a few minutes of searing over medium heat, I pretty much only have the burners at low or simmer (I use them only for braises, soups and stews) and have never noted any problem whatsoever with uneven heating with the oval oven. Much of the time, I use them in the oven, and there of course there is no concern at all.

Dec 14, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Do I really need a dutch oven?

I used a Magnalite perhaps 25 years ago before I bought my first Le Creuset ECI Dutch oven. It was great, but aside from the fact that if was lighter, I think the LeC has it beat in every way...nicer looking, easier to clean, sears foods better, and most importantly, it does not react with acidic foods such as vinegars tomatoes, etc. No comparison IMHO.

Dec 14, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

ElC's Pete Peeves re: Resto Service

I'm not sure that I understand your beef. Perhaps it's the timing that upsets you, but good service requires that the server return to the table a few minutes after everyone has been served, and inquire as to whether everything is ok.

Dec 14, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food

Do I really need a dutch oven?

So what's your fave for stews, soups, braises...both for stovetop or oven use?

(BTW, LeC over a low flame produces perfect fond, hot spots are also not an issue with a low flame and certainly not in the oven. Love the eggshell color of my LeC...and what's the issue with jus?)

No question that ECI is heavy, and LeC is pretty pricey, but it lasts forever.

Dec 11, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Do I really need a dutch oven?

Kaleo, I have read and reread all of your posts, and am not sure whether or not you really like ECI. Could you please clarify your position. If you do not like it, what is it that you prefer to use for soups, stews and such?

Dec 11, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014

Bought it in southern CA yesterday. Delicious!

Dec 11, 2014
josephnl in Chains

Do I really need a dutch oven?

I personally would not want a 2 quart ECI oven. I have 2 LeC's...one about 5 and another oval one about 6-7 quarts and love them. Dutch ovens really come into their own for soups, stews and braises...and imho 2 quarts is way too small to be useful.

Dec 11, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Have made these many times. Any small waxy potatoes work well. I never cover them, always use good evoo, salt, freshlgy ground pepper and pretty much whatever herbs are at hand...fresh rosemary, dried or fresh thyme and or oregano, even sage works well. They're always delicious!

Dec 11, 2014
josephnl in Recipes

Easy Beef Stew

My favorite beef stew is quite similar, but imho slightly better. I think that the port wine imparts a delicious rich flavor, the mushrooms and pearl onions are nice additions, and as I've noted elsewhere, if I'm freezing leftovers (which I almost always do), I prefer cooking the potatoes separately. With an overabundance of humility, I nominate this as the best easy beef stew!

Beef Stew

2 lbs. beef stew meat
Flour
Salt and pepper
Oregano, dried
¼ cup chopped onions
3 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup catsup
1 can beef consommé
1 can water
½ cup Port wine
3-4 carrots, peeled and roughly sliced
1 spear celery, roughly sliced
2 large bay leaves
¼ tsp. Maggi sauce
1 lb. fresh (or frozen) shelled peas
½ lb. mushrooms sliced
12 oz. package frozen pearl onions (optional, but tasty)

Flour beef with salt, pepper and oregano (easy to do in a zip-lok bag). Sauté onions in olive oil until translucent and then add and brown beef. Add all but peas, mushrooms and pearl onions. Simmer for 1½ hours, or until meat is tender. Add peas, mushrooms and pearl onions (if used). Simmer an additional 15-20 minutes until vegetables are cooked through. Since there will be quite a bit of liquid, I usually serve with slotted spoon.

Serve with a starch such as boiled new potatoes (great with the tasty stew liquid), roasted red or fingerling potatoes, or even egg noodles.

Serves 6

Dec 11, 2014
josephnl in Recipes

Easy Beef Stew

I was properly reprimanded for rating this stew 3 stars even though I had not made it. But I'm sure that this stew is delicious because it is virtually identical to the stew I love and make all the time. I inappropriately downrated it because I personally do not like adding potatoes to a pot of stew. I always wind up freezing leftovers, and I very much dislike the pasty consistency that frozen potatoes seem always to acquire in my hands.

I'm really curious to know why you didn't like this stew in that it has been rated 4 or 5 stars by virtually everyone else. What was it that you didn't like?

Dec 10, 2014
josephnl in Recipes

Entertaining - Music to Accompany Dinner

Bkeats says "Most of it bores me to tears. I'm happy to listen to a piece or even spend an evening at the opera or symphony hall from time to time. But putting it on a list of my "favorite" music to be stranded on an island with would be just puttIng on airs."

Perhaps I misinderstood Bkeats, and if so, I sincerely apologize. But it certainly sounds to me that he's saying that most classical music "bores him to tears", and that if he had to select music to have if stranded on an island, it would certainly not be classical music. And what does any of this have to do with "class"? Many uneducated and poor people love classical music.

Yes, as someone who enjoys much music, but especially classical music, I find this to be very surprising since it seems to be coming from someone very knowledgeable about serious/classical music.

Dec 07, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food

Entertaining - Music to Accompany Dinner

I find it truly shocking that someone who claims to be knowledgeable about classical music finds that it "bores him/her to tears". Either he is totally full of sh.. re his/her knowledge/familiariy with classical music, or is totally weird. I have never, ever, met or known of someone familiar with and/or educated about classical music who finds such music boring. Bkeats...class has nothing to do with it...it's all about intellgence and openness. Gustavo Dudumel has inspired thousands of young persons in Venezuela who have grown up in poverty, and with limited education, to adore classical musc!

Dec 07, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food

Football during Thanksgiving dinner - am I a snob?

For those who think that Thanksgiving is "all about football", they should either stay home and enjoy the games, host or attend a party with like-minded friends, or go to a tradional Thanksgiiving dinner with folks who don't give a whit about foodball and enjoy he food and company and catch up n the scores when you go home. Very simple...make a choice, but don't rudely impose your desires on your host!

Football during Thanksgiving dinner - am I a snob?

-10

Dec 06, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food

Football during Thanksgiving dinner - am I a snob?

I think the Oscar or Grammy night dinner/party is sort of different in that most of us who host parties on these nights (as I have done), do so specifically to enjoy the televised event with friends. Casual food and drinks are the norm, not a formal sit-down dinner such as a typical Thanksgiving feast.