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Entrecote Steak Sauce - How to make

More on the sauce, and sauce wars:

Jul 27, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Two different viewpoints on the differences in bacteria between curd and yogurt:

First, here's a scientific analysis of the microbial content of curd made daily in 16 households in India. The analysis of the samples showed lactobacillus bacteria consistent with yogurt.

See Table II at

On the other hand...

Dr. Neerja Hajela, a scientist in India (full disclosure: she works for Dannon India), quoted in The Hindu, said what differentiates curd from yogurt is the bacteria:

"Curd is defined as a product obtained by souring boiled or pasteurized milk naturally, by harmless lactic acid bacteria or other bacterial cultures. It may contain a wide variety of bacteria, which are not defined qualitatively/quantitatively. The number and type of bacteria also vary from home to home.

"Yoghurt, on the other hand, is obtained by lactic acid fermentation of milk by Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophillus."

She went on to say that neither curd nor yogurt have enough probiotic bacteria to be considered a true probiotic.

In the FWIW category...

Jul 24, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Update, more reading...

Generally, India uses a different definition of the word "curd" than does the US, UK and Europe.

Curd in India refers to yogurt, but in the US, UK and Europe, curd refers to milk solids (chunks) that have separated from whey. More here:

Jul 24, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

The info at the links point out differences, if it is accurate.

Jul 24, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

One evening in San Fran / 5 nights in Napa

Napa Valley is not touristy if you get off the main highways. The back roads are exquisite country. Green and agricultural as far as the eye can see.

I live in Napa Valley, and taste all over this valley, Sonoma County's many wine regions, Anderson Valley, the Carneros, Mendocino, as well as France, Germany and Italy. I've written a lot of posts on where to go, and I'm short on time at the moment. If you would do a search on Chowhound or using a browser, you can pull up some of my recommendations. The Chowhound search function sometimes doesn't work that well, so I usually use a browser.

Good wineries near town of Sonoma

I like Laurel Glen and Pangloss in Glen Ellen.

HdV for truly stellar wines in the Carneros district. This is the area at the top of SF Bay (San Pablo Bay) and that straddles the southern end of both Sonoma and Napa.

Also, further up Highway 12: Arrowood, Chateau St. Jean.

All these wineries are easy drives from the town of Sonoma.

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Welcome to Chowhound.

I did look it up -- thank you. The two sources below say curd is made by adding an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to milk (usually buffalo milk) to coagulate it. It's made the same way we make farmer cheese in the US and ricotta in Italy.

So the difference is that curd is made with an acid, and yogurt is made with lactobacillus bacteria.

I thought the comparison table here was interesting:

I can't vouch for the validity of what either website says, so if you have better info, please share it.

Thanks for your post.

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Gadget claims to filter wine sulphites

What surprises me is that someone with PhD in chemistry would come up with a device whose success depends on a chemistry myth.

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Gadget claims to filter wine sulphites

White wine has more sulfites than red. What I've found, for me, is that my breath is wasted explaining what's what to someone who truly believes that sulfites are *the* issue for them.

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Gadget claims to filter wine sulphites

I'm guessing the device is based upon one of four Dow products that removes sulfites from liquid. These are ion exchange resins that grab onto the sulfites as they pass through the resin filter.

My understanding is the resin filter does change the chemistry of the wine, lessening its acid -- which could be an issue.

You can read about the Dow resins here:

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Gadget claims to filter wine sulphites

"If you react to sulfites, you react to *a lot* of foods other than wine, you’re probably a severe asthmatic, and you’ll know. There’s nothing wrong with a tool to remove sulfites *per se*, but it contributes to this whole myth of their being a good reason why the Ordinary Wine Consumer would want to."

That's pretty much where I'm at.

That quote is from Erika Szymanski, a wine science writer and PhD candidate from New Zealand. The quote comes from her blog here.

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Can anyone recommend a wine shop in Dallas, TX...

I'd say Pogo's with its Champagne selection. They also deliver.
Here's their Champagne page:

Also Monticello Liquor.

Also post on the DFW board.

Jul 20, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Sonoma County Egg Hunt: I Brake for Fresh Farm Eggs

I'll be there Tuesday. Will check it out.

Still loving this thread.

Costco: An American Dream for the Wines From Spain | Foods & Wines from Spain

The Novato/Marin (SF Bay Area) Costco has "serious" wines, as well as cheaper, mass-produced wines.

Jul 17, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Summer Fruit Pies -- Best in Marin or Sonoma County or Napa Valley?

Looking for fresh locally made pie in these three counties.
Preferably not overly sweet. Appreciate ideas!

Free/Discounted Wine tastings in Healdsburg

Just a caution that if you're thinking of turning this bachelorette party into a wine-drinking party -- especially a free wine-drinking party -- that is VERY frowned upon by wineries.

You will need reservations for 8 persons. And it's best to pay the cost for the tasting as the winery will have to assign a staff member to pour for your party. You don't want to ask for free wine and for the winery to donate a staff person's labor cost for your party.

Visit one or two wineries, and perhaps add in a lunch in a beautiful spot and a spa treatment or two so that your day is not a freeloading wine party. Sorry to put it so bluntly but these kind of parties are what wineries hate the most.

Champagne needs to ‘create a new occasion’

Did anyone else find Campos’s quotes a bit odd or simplistic?

She said Champagne was "pushed" over the past 10 years into being a special occasion wine because of the lack of response (marketing?).

The widespread perception of Champagne as a “special occasion” wine goes back much further than the last decade. Only recently has Champagne become more popular as an aperitif wine or a weekend wine, rather than as an anniversary, birthday, New Year's, or Valentine wine.

Many brands/market sectors have faced the marketing dilemma of how to change the perception of their product from being "special occasion" to being "everyday” in order to increase sales.

To be successful in shifting that perception means finding the price threshold above which the wine will be considered a splurge wine, and pricing your bubbles below that.

It’s unclear but Campos’s comments on creating an occasion to enjoy Champagne seemed directed towards the burgeoning market in China.

She says, “If you are going to sell to China, they have no concept of the apéritif and they have no pleasure in drinking Champagne at the table or with their meal. So unless you create a different occasion to enjoy the product in China you aren’t going to sell much. If you don’t evolve and create new occasions and react to consumers then little by little your current business will dwindle.”

What that sounds like to me, is that Campos believes that for China a new occasion has to be “invented” – a social construct. An immense task in a country with vastly different customs/traditions. A successful China occasion would have to have topspin, “stickiness.”

Back to this country: Like Jason/zin1953, I've never needed an "occasion" to open bubbles, other than that I'm currently breathing. I do have a moment of thought before I open an expensive bottle.

Jul 07, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Marcella's Lasagneria chowdown report [Dogpatch, San Francisco]

Melanie, I am on a quest to find the San Benito tomatoes (better than San Marzanos, according to Diavolo's pizzaiolo). Any 411 on where they can be found? I'm only finding #10 size cans.

Entrecote Steak Sauce - How to make

That looks very close. I'll have to try the recipe to see if the flavor is similar. Many thanks!

Jul 05, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

why oh why can I not emulsify???

Yep. Anything that contains water.

Jun 30, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Champagne with salt???

I also think the combo of fat and salt is the ticket.

Jun 30, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Champagne with salt???

Ah, I see now...putting a pinch of salt in the mouth. More mousse.
More mouth-filling, kind of like a thrill ride.

But still, no thanks.

Champagne with salt???

It's a simple chemical reaction. Adding salt to a carbon dioxide solution (Champagne, sparkling wine, Coca-Cola) creates more fizz, more bubbles.

But since flavor esters hitch a ride on bubbles, and are lost if the bubbles burst outside the mouth, adding salt isn't really a good idea. Lots of extra bubbles are created by the salt, but a lot of flavor is lost because the bubbles burst before hitting the mouth.

That's the reason behind using a white wine glass for serving Champagne. Fewer bubbles are lost to the air, reserving more bubbles to burst in the mouth, resulting in more flavor.

SF Sourdough Revisited

Sourdough has a range of flavors depending on its fermentation or proofing temperature.

A difference of only 5 degrees F during proofing makes a huge difference in the degree of sourness. At one end of the temperature range, the production of mellow lactic acid dominates; at the other end, acetic acid (vinegar) dominates. There can also be a midrange, a combination of the two acids.

Obviously, the more sour of the sourdoughs are dominated by acetic acid. Some bakers prefer not to make sourdough bread this tart, or sour.

Mentioned earlier, but don't forget sourdough is often faked by adding vinegar to the dough.

Two Best AVAs for Napa/Sonoma Trip (Group with Varied Palates)

I'd recommend the beautiful Spring Mountain AVA in Napa, which is near the best sparkling winery, Schramsberg. The mountain fruit that goes into Spring Mountain wines has a backbone of acidity. The fruit flavors are clear, developed and direct. I like Spring Mountain Vineyard, Pride, Keenan, Paloma, Barnett, Crowley, and so forth. You'll find Cabernet, Syrah, some Pinot, Chardonnay and some Sauvignon Blanc here. That diversity is not found in the other Napa AVAs.

On the Sonoma side, I'd recommend Dry Creek Valley, where you were earlier when visiting Unti. See if you can taste the difference in fruit between western and eastern Dry Creek. Dry Creek Winery is known for Sauvignon Blanc. Others you might want to try are Sbragia Family Vineyards for wonderful wines across the board, Mauritson and Preston. Preston, in particular, makes Rhone varietals of some quality: Syrah, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, and a very lovely white blend called Madam Preston. Fresh baked bread, tomatoes, a picnic area are there also. Preston is next door to Bella, known for Zinfandel, especially late-harvest Zinfandel, delicious with raspberry desserts.

Cake in Napa Valley

Bouchon is good. I like ABC in Napa best (Alexis Baking Company).
My favorite cake anywhere is their Apricot Pistachio Cake.

Here is a link to the cakes. The chocolate cakes are at the bottom.

Nice people, too.

What wine to pair with BBQ Salmon?

I'd do a Rose with salmon BBQ in that fruit-driven,spicy Mexican style. I love the cold fruitiness of Rose with BBQ and Mexican/Latina Fresca. Rose is summery, and IMO, Pinot Noir and Zin will overwhelm the fruit and fresh flavors in this particular dish.

Jun 15, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Under-appreciated and/or up-and-coming grape varieties?

Polar Bear, I'm likin' your list!

Love Ribolla Gialla, after visiting Friuli a number of times.
Has a roundness and fleshiness to it, something like battonage-style Chardonnay, in contrast to the leaner whites of Northern Italy/Friuli/Alto Adige.

Jun 13, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Napa Sparkling gift ideas

The J. Schram is the best at Schramsberg, and the best in Napa Valley, IMO. I've bought it many times, but it's a bit pricey.
See if one of the older vintages is available, and ask the staff which is best.

My yardstick for measurement of a good sparkler is French Champagne with toast and depth, just so you know, when I recommend a domestic sparkler,

May 25, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Why Does New York Have The Best Bagels? Not the Water, the 2-Day Proofing.

I imagine the dough is proofing in the large containers bakeries use. The bagels are cut and shaped later.

The boiling is critical, especially if the water or dough is malted.