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PicklingJessica's Profile

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Stockholm Eats?

Oh I couldn't agree more. That and the National Museums restaurant are just terrific!

Jan 06, 2007
PicklingJessica in International Archive

Stockholm Eats?

There have been a couple of threads on food in Stockholm that I've participated in.
You can follow the threads here:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/340077

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/311706

Oaxen mentioned in one of the threads is closed until late spring.

Dec 30, 2006
PicklingJessica in International Archive

Whither Amanda Hesser?

I'm smack in the middle of the 18 to 35 demographic as well. I missed her Mr. Latte articles in the NYT. Instead I made the huge mistake of getting the book. Initially it seemed ok, then I grew increasingly more annoyed and about now I am ready to toss it. One reviewer called it delightful and honest, I call it dry as a cracker and humourless and as delightful as a bed full of cracker crumbs at bedtime.
In all fairness, she can write about food. She should keep away from anything resembling a novel. As an upside, if I see anything like this again, I know not to get it.

Dec 30, 2006
PicklingJessica in Food Media & News

How do you deal with allergies at a restaurant?

Chowser,
I am not that sensitive to nuts that I have to be vigilant about trace amounts since I've had some hyposensibilisation to nuts and horses but I certainly know what you mean. I attended a christmas party yesterday where the presence of cracked nuts in another room became too much. My colleagues quickly removed the nuts without discussion, the room was aired etc., and then the party continued as before. I never have to explain myself with them. All food etc., was sans nuts.

KitchenAid,
I once encountered a nut oil in a vitamine supplement. Grew intensely sick. Called the company in question. The representative's answer well as a nut allergic person you can't really be allergic to the oil because oil doesn't contain proteine and it's the proteine you react to.
Gee tell that to my immune system...
Sometimes you just have to face it that you fight weather mills...

Peanuts are, when my mind got to chew on it, in the soy family. Soy allergy is one of the deadliest around.
It is not fun when you don't get your point across at all, that this is not something you do for the fun of it, that it is actually a matter of life and death.

Dec 12, 2006
PicklingJessica in General Topics

Le Creuset revisited

Oh indeed, you are a dispicable person ;) *RLOL*. You had to get it down from 5 dollars to 3 just for the sake of argument huh lol?!?
Congrats on making some true bargains over the years :).
With the way mine are going I am sure they will last until eternity pretty much.

Dec 12, 2006
PicklingJessica in Cookware

How do you deal with allergies at a restaurant?

The answer to the ability to eat one or two out of the nut group is two fold. If you are allergic to nuts you can't eat de facto nuts period, no discussion.
Almonds, pistachios, cashews and pine nuts (kernels) are not de facto nuts though. Neither are peanuts. Peanuts is a bean, related to the pea and bean family. Almonds and pistachios are in the same family as appels and cherries, as are cashews. If you have cross allergies then you can't eat them. Pine nuts (kernels) is a pine cone seed, usually found in pesto but sometimes they substitute it for something cheaper like almonds. I have no problems with pine nuts despite an allergy to nuts. Pesto can be tricky, I usually don't eat it out but prepare it at home.

I can eat peanuts and pine kernels but none of the other.
It is important that you, as the allergic person educate yourself on your specific allergies. Equally important is to not leave out entire food groups out of fear that something might happen, like if something is called a nut you assume it is a nut and therefore out of the question. It might be but you have to have to have been tested before you start avoiding it. Allergy is the immunological reaction to foods or something in your environment. In lieu of the immunological reaction you can still be intolerant and want to avoid something. If your diet becomes over the top depleted it might be a good idea to see a registered dietician for help with your diet. I developed an unhealthy fear of eating, avoiding more things than I needed to. Seeing the RD and an allergist and educating myself more on food and the origin of fruit and veggies help enormously. For a time, while re-introducing foods, I had the priviledge of eating in the hospital, so that if I had a reaction it could be dealt with in the hospital.

Allergies are like a bucket involving your immune system. At times your general stamina might be so good that you can tolerate more of a substance without developing a serious reaction. During, let's say, pollen season I am very very very careful with what I eat since the bucket is already full with dealing with the pollen. In November getting a sandwich that has been in contact with a tomato doesn't have to end in misery, whereas the same thing in May would not be pretty.

It is important to always take someone who says that they are allergic seriously. At one time they (former friends) wanted to test if things were as serious as I said they were, and mixed fish stock that had been cooked on among other things lobster, into a sauce. I left the party by ambulance.

I recently went to a small newly opened coffee shop and asked if any of the cakes contained nuts. Oh let me look said the girl and hauled out a booklet with a very detailed ingredient list. That kind of service without grumbling or hinting that oh how difficult must you be all the time impresses on me, and makes me a returning customer.

Dec 12, 2006
PicklingJessica in General Topics

How do you deal with allergies at a restaurant?

I've mostly had nice experiences with calling ahead and mentioning allergies as we made the reservation. Some restaurants have offered outstanding service, even putting together dishes not on the menu as all the starter dishes contained something I am allergic to.

I never frequent very cheap places. Nor sandwich places since I can't really handle sandwiches that have tomatoes in them or sandwiches that are cut with a knife that has had tomato cut with them on a cutting board with tomato previously on it. Almost all give me the reply well, just push the tomato to the side and eat it anyway! Well, if I could I would, dimwit. But it's just plain ignorance.

With some severe allergies, like my friend depending totally on a peanut-free environment where not even trace amounts can be found on let's say a griddle, a plate, fork or a table, we don't put that kind of strain on a particular chef or restaurant. As Hilltowner said below, it IS asking too much, even is you bring an epi-pen, first you scare the living daylights out of the restaurant and their staff and customers, next yourself and your family and you'll spend an unhappy couple of days in the hospital to recuperate. Due judgement is required, both from the restaurant and from the visitor. An allergy shouldn't prevent you from having a zest for nice food, and it surely hasn't prevented me from becoming a foodie, but as far as handing out laminated folders and demanding a restaurant kitchen scrub down of cross-contamination mid-evening is really pushing it too far.

Dec 11, 2006
PicklingJessica in General Topics

How do you deal with allergies at a restaurant?

I have a fairly serious allergy to nuts, secondly comes an allergy to tomatoes. That is much less serious though and usually stops with rashes and itching. I usually call ahead and speak to staff. That way they are prepared and I have seldom encountered a problem. At upscale restaurants they usually work around allergies in a very professional manner.

With the lady that handed the laminated letter to the hostess of the private dining room. That's asking an awful lot as an allergic person to at the time of ordering ask that not even trace amounts can be brought into the room "for legal reasons" (looking to sue?). In restaurant kitchens it is very difficult to keep the food THAT clean so that not even trace amounts of certain foods can cross-contaminate others. It is not anyones fault and even is the most well kept restaurant kitchen it's just that you can be very careful and things are still airborne so there's no guarantee unless you prepare food in a sterile environment. I have a friend that is that severely allergic to peanuts. We read menus ahead of time and if there's peanuts on the menu we simply cook dinner at home. It's asking too much to have all peanuts, even trace amounts washed out, and I mean rubbed off everything basically.

Dec 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in General Topics

Le Creuset revisited

I got a large one, sorry for not being able to be more specific in quarts. I figured I wanted something large enough to cook stews and oven-bake roasts etc. If I for some reason find the LC not working in cooking something I use some other pan. Happens rarely but works out fine.

Dec 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in Cookware

Cheap eats in Stockholm

Hi,
I'm sorry I didn't respond to your querie before you left for Sweden. Since I still don't really understand what cheap vs. expensive is (I live here so I am left with paying what it costs when we are out dining). Stockholm is more expensive as is most big cities around the world compared to price range outside the city.

Usually the fine restaurants offer lunch or after work at lower charge than actual dinner. I love Grand hotel, sometimes we pop by to have their breakfast which you can have without being an actual guest. Their french restaurant has unfortunately closed but a new restaurant will open (not sure of the date but the chef will be the former owner and chef of Bon Lloc). I don't live in Stockholm so comparatively the prices where I live are decidedly lower. Not over the top lower but if you are price aware you do notice it.

Usually prices echo quality but not always. Sometimes you pay for the spot and for the chance to spot celebs while doing it. You CAN find fine food outside the very pricy places although that might take some searching and like everywhere else, you can hit gold and at an equal rate pretty much miss.

Dec 08, 2006
PicklingJessica in International Archive

Le Creuset revisited

A while back - ok, a loooong while back, I asked if it was worth getting a Le Creuset enameled pot or if a cheaper one would do.

Well, I went ahead and got a Le Creuset and I am so happy I did. I cook many many things in it. I barely have time to put it away before I take it out to use it again. It's been great for the no-knead bread that's on everyone's lips as for stews, casseroles etc.
When I had gotten it my mother commented, oh i have two of those packed down in a box in the basement, both are smaller than this one, I never thought of them as very practical to use . Do you want them? So I have three now ;). That's fortunately how the crookie crumbles sometimes.

So was it worth the price I paid for it even when I got 2 for nothing? Oh you betcha :)!!

Dec 08, 2006
PicklingJessica in Cookware

Cheap eats in Stockholm

What do you consider cheap? There are lunch offers during the week (dagens rätt), after work dinners or happy hours. You can always find food but it depends on what your definition of expensive vs. cheap is.

Oaxen is closed for the season. They open for a few weeks in December to offer christmas smörgåsbord, dec 1st - dec 21st.
They open again in late April 2007.
I'd take Edsbacka over Pontus in the greenhouse.
Esperanto has a cool and very experimental kitchen.

Nov 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in International Archive

Stockholm/Tallinn/Helsinki report (LONG)

Tipping is not required in Sweden (like percentages used in the US). you can leave a tip if you are content with service etc., which I usually do unless it's been gastly service and lousy food.
We usually leave an even amount, say 300, if the bill is 260 kr but you decide that for yourself. I feel sort of cheap if I don't leave a tip, even if it is just a small amount, especially at night. For lunches I usually don't leave any tip.

Nov 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in International Archive

Cannelés/canelés - tips and tricks about making them

Thanks everyone :).
Fleur, I've read about the beeswax -- the recipes I have call for nothing but butter. Where can you find beeswax and what makes it different to butter?
I thought it was the sugar and rum caramelizing that gave it the crackly/browny exterior...
I'm putting copper molds on my wish list for christmas, having been a bit too financially aware so far to get them. I've baked them in muffin tins so far, they come out all right but with the rate I make them I figure it's time to take the step and get some of the real molds to make them in :).

Nov 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

Cannelés/canelés - tips and tricks about making them

Hi everyone,
These french pastries originate from Bordeaux and I am addicted to them. Since I live in Scandinavia you are confined to making them yourself, which I am. I'm looking for tips and tricks.
Copper tin molds or silicone flexipan? With holes or without?
Does the quality rum matter (I use a good quality dark rum but not the priciest).
Should they be with or without bitter almonds?
Any other tips would be appreciated.

TIA

Nov 08, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

Recipes/Ideas for the times when the wallet is thin..

I do have a couple of recipes but can't post it until tomorrow but I will get to it. Btw, the above recipe doesn't have to be prime rib. As long as it's boneless rib steak it will be fine. Oh, another thing, which spices do you refer to with pickling spices?

Aug 11, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

Recipes/Ideas for the times when the wallet is thin..

The recipe does great things with any tough meat. Some recipes I've seen call for roast beef which I find unnecessary. A digital thermometer simplifies cooking.

A 3 pound frozen prime rib or flank steak

Marinade
3 pints water
1⁄2 dl salt
3,5 oz soy sauce
3 shallots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Small bunch of parsley
2 tbsp tarragon, dried
2 tbsp basil, dried
1⁄2 tbsp black pepper, crushed

Set your oven to 210F.
Put the frozen steak directly from the freezer into a pan and roast it for app. 6-10 hours (depending on the size and shape of the meat). When the meat has softened some you can stick a digital thermometer into the core. By innertemp 130F the meat is rare, by 150F medium and by 170F well done.

Pour the water for the marinade into a pot and let it come to a boil. Add all the other ingredients and let it simmer for a few minutes. Leave to cool. When the meat is done you remove it from the pan and plonk it into the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 4 to 5 hours.

Let me know if something seems unclear.

Aug 11, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

Recipes/Ideas for the times when the wallet is thin..

I cook alot of eggs dishes when I'm short of money, along with potato dishes and soups. Stews is something I routinely cook and keep in the deep freeze.
Frozen prime rib cooked in very low heat over night and then marinated in a salty marinade for 8 hours gives you very tender meat.

Aug 11, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

need some quick and easy dinner ideas for a single non-cooker

Nigel Slater is excellent as is Jamie Oliver, a k a the Naked Chef. They have a very laidback approach to cooking which is sometimes just what you need, instead of finickity instructions to use 2 grams ITALIAN almonds.
Start simple and work your way up. Learn to cook pasta and make simple sauces to accompany it. Veggies like potatoes and carrots whether boiled, sauteed or baked. To marinate chicken, meat or fish in a dry spice rub or a simple marinade sauce before cooking it is also simple. For me, cooking is fun more than anything else so if push comes to shove I will go with Slater's and Oliver's advice to "chuck the chicken into the oven", use "a fistful" of herbs and a "whacky load" of lemons.
No one is born a gourmet chef. At one time or another even Martha Stewart burned her eggs.

Aug 11, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

Chicken Korma Recipe?

I have cooked korma (kurma) before using a, I hate to admit, ready made sauce. This time I wanted to cook from scratch. I searched too and found very many recipes. Rather than trying to pick one out, it would be ideal if someone had one that was great. Korma/Kurma can be found in Northern India (where I've eaten it).

Aug 10, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

Chicken Korma Recipe?

Hi everyone,

I am planning to cook Chicken korma. Has anyone got a nice recipe?

TIA

Aug 10, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

Freezing Bread?

I freeze all that I bake myself, doing what one poster suggested - good freezer bags and squeezing air out. I have my own private bakeoff ;), and the flavour is terrific.

Aug 10, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

Breakfast in Stockholm

It's helpful to remember that most cafés this time of the year have altered opening hours and regularly they open later on the weekend. Vetekatten opens at 9.30 Saturdays and are closed Sundays.

Aug 10, 2006
PicklingJessica in International Archive

Breakfast in Stockholm

Grand Hotel's veranda has an impressive breakfast buffe (I'm not into breakfasts that much but that one -- wowser. The danish pastries alone turned me around ;).
It's kinda pricy but worth every last nickel. They open at 7.
http://www.grandhotel.se/index.php

Depending at what time you get up, many cafees open at 9 10 in the morning (probably the latter as it is still considered to be summer for another week or so). Most have breakfast offers of the simple kind (coffee/tea, juice, sandwich). Big hotels offer breakfast buffes, although I've only frequented Grand Hotel in that regard. There are many nice cafes. See the post hounding around the world - stockholm further down.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have further questions :).

Aug 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in International Archive

Useless clutter?

Oh I basically collect cookie cutters ;).

Aug 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in Cookware

Useless clutter?

I have a wide variety of pans as well. Besides the spring forms there's pans to make kransekage, another for the christmas log and the swiss rolls, square, with hole, without hole, patterned etc.
It's funny to see that what some people view as clutter, others can't imagine living without.

Aug 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in Cookware

Do any cultures eat owl?

I haven't heard about owl per se but in shamanistic cultures it's common that you eat parts of an animal whose properties you wish to own. There might also exist strong taboos towards certain foods. At a Nobel Dinner in 1994, blood dove was served. Since one of the laureates was japanese a large number of guests were japanese. The Japanese guests were horrified when the dove was served and asked if it was customary to eat peace symbols?

I've eaten snake and dog and a host of other animals around the world. The only thing I've refused is various raw variations of birds. Other cooked birds I have basically just smiled and picked up a leg, with or without feet remaining so god knows what I've been chewing ;) but I wouldn't be surprised if raptors were included.

Aug 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in General Topics

Help with austere diet

I have a host of auto immune disorders, including severe allergies (to mold as well). Although dietary elimination, meaning you cut out one specific food for a while and see if that eleviates the problem before you reintroduce, is common practise for most allergists this is over the top.
Potatos is considered very allergy friendly. My RD says most people that are very allergic can tolerate meat and potatoes (exceptions exist of course). Immunology is complicated but like the others have said there's no red thread in what she has been suggested to cut out. If you would single out fish, it would make more sense to cut out all "fatty" fish (salmon is one), rather than just salmon.
Also, has she gotten advice on how to keep her protein intake where it should be and generally how she should eat so that she remains nutritionally balanced?

Aug 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in General Topics

Best use of very good vanilla beans?

Vanilla custard and once you've cooked the custard, rinse the pods and stick them in sugar to make the best ever vanilla sugar.

Aug 09, 2006
PicklingJessica in Home Cooking

I Heart Condiments

I love pickles. And relish. And various sauces... Damn, I think I belong to this group of condiment lovers (or fetisch). I pickle alot myself to keep cost down and control flavour.

Aug 08, 2006
PicklingJessica in General Topics