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Business Casual dinner in Gas Lamp District

I am arranging a business dinner for 8 people in the Gas Lamp district. Looking for something tasty, not too exotic, and not expensive (non-profit staff on limited per diem). Atmosphere should be conducive to having a discussion about a project.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Jan 09, 2012
gommista in San Diego

Old hen ideas

So we ended up not dining on Rocky after all. I promised my daughter I would try to give her away, and if she didn't get adopted, she would end up on the menu. Alas my daughter's midwife saved the hen and brought her home to her coop (her chickens poop in the nest too).

We did enjoy a cajun-injected deep-fried turkey however. I rubbed it with salt and cayenne the night before and used Emeril's recipe for a marinade to inject it with. It was a big hit. After getting the fryer going, I decided to fry up some slices of pumpkin pie. I froze them and dipped them in funnel cake batter before frying. They were like gooey pumpkin pie fritters. Yummy but deadly!

Nov 29, 2011
gommista in Home Cooking

Old hen ideas

I'm planning to dispatch our 4 year old hen Rocky and serve her up for Thanksgiving. Any recipe suggestions for a tough old bird? I was thinking a coq au vin.

Thanks!

Nov 17, 2011
gommista in Home Cooking

Catered fun dinner near O'Hare / on blue line

Thanks! You are right about my lack of experience. Luckily I have an event planning company helping out. Appreciate the tips!

Aug 03, 2011
gommista in Chicago Area

Catered fun dinner near O'Hare / on blue line

I'm planning a catered dinner for 90 young professionals. We're hoping to get out of our O'Hare area hotel and go somewhere more fun. Any ideas of a place to host a catered dinner that might be a fun location to hang around in afterwards? It would be nice to find a place near O'Hare or at least on the blue line.

Aug 02, 2011
gommista in Chicago Area

Bresaola - Nitrate or Nitrite?

I want to make a venison bresaola with a fresh rump roast from a Sitka black-tailed deer. I have dry cure #1 (w/ sodium nitrite) but no dry cure #2 (w/ sodium nitrate). Can I use sodium nitrite only or should I freeze the roast and get some dry cure #2 in the mail and use that (as is called for in the recipe I have from Charcuterie)?

Jan 06, 2011
gommista in Home Cooking

smoked caviar

I am processing sockeye salmon roe for caviar. I think it would be great to cold smoke some of it. Any ideas on how to smoke the eggs once they've cured? I took them out of the skeins, which might have helped in the smoking process. The trick seems to be how to smoke them and leave the eggs intact without sticking to a grill rack.

Aug 12, 2010
gommista in Home Cooking

lunch in Olympia

Great recommendation on La Tarasca. We were there for dinner tonight. We shared thee chili verde, the carnitas, and the chicken mole. My favorite was the mole. It had a nice caramel flavor. The carnitas were flavorful but maybe a touch dry.

We also went to Chica's for lunch. It was pretty good, but not very kid friendly. They didn't even have high chairs!

Feb 11, 2009
gommista in Pacific Northwest

lunch in Olympia

Any recommendations out there for lunch in Olympia or the vicinity? I would like to find a spot to meet some friends driving halfway between Portland and Seattle.

Feb 08, 2009
gommista in Pacific Northwest

Best Espresso - PSU/Downtown PDX/Hawthorne

I've been trying everything I can and here are my faves so far:

A Fine Grind on 39th and SE Lincoln. They are using Nossia Familia coffee and their espresso is smooth and delicious.

Pastaworks on Hawthorne. They use Illy beans and pour a smooth cup.

Tiny's on Hawthorne. They use Stumpdown, which I don't normally like since it tastes sour. But their espresso was smoother than most Stumptowns I've had.

Spella's is probably the best tasting I've had so far. I just wish it was closer to my route and wasn't a ristretto shot. I like to linger a bit more over my espresso.

Feb 04, 2009
gommista in Pacific Northwest

Best Espresso - PSU/Downtown PDX/Hawthorne

I found Katie's Cafe in the basement of the Unitus Building on 6th and Columbia. They use Illy coffee and make a decent espresso. It seems like Illy makes a consistently good espresso.

I've also tried Spella a few times and really like their stuff. I only wish it wasn't a ristretto shot and that they were closer to campus!

Jan 28, 2009
gommista in Pacific Northwest

Best Espresso - PSU/Downtown PDX/Hawthorne

Maybe not, but they have money to spend and time to kill. I'm looking forward to trying Spella.

Jan 25, 2009
gommista in Pacific Northwest

Best Espresso - PSU/Downtown PDX/Hawthorne

Thanks! I agree about PSU. Seems funny that a concetration of college kids wouldn't attract good coffee. Thanks for the tips.

Jan 25, 2009
gommista in Pacific Northwest

Best Espresso - PSU/Downtown PDX/Hawthorne

I'm new to Portland from Juneau, Alaska in search of the perfect pull. My favorite drink is a double espresso. I'm looking for some espresso recommendations in the PSU, Downtown Portland, or Hawthorne areas. I haven't been that impressed by Stumptown (sorry). The best pull I've had so far has been at the coffee counter at Pastworks on Hawthorne. Any suggestions?

BTW, my favorite bag of espresso beans is from The Green Bean Coffee Company in Ketchikan, AK. They mail order beans and their espresso roast is a high-octane blend of five different roasts. http://www.tgcbc.com/

Jan 24, 2009
gommista in Pacific Northwest

Make Your Own Pancetta

thanks. since it will be hard, i've decided to take the skin off. anyone have any uses for salt-cured pigskin?

Nov 29, 2008
gommista in Features

Make Your Own Pancetta

I just hung my pancetta to dry and realized I skipped the step of removing the skin. Does anyone have any advice? Should I take it down, remove the skin, and re-hang? Or wait until it dries?

Nov 29, 2008
gommista in Features

apple intermezzo

I ended up making an apple sorbet with local sour apples, as well as a crabapple/highbush cranberry/nagoonberry sorbet. I took the advice and used honey as a sweetener. A photo of the dish is below:

Oct 19, 2008
gommista in Home Cooking

Big Night - Juneau, Alaska - October 2008

And here are the photos of the last three courses and intermezzo:

5) Intermezzo: Dyad of local apple sorbet and crabapple/highbush cranberry/nagoonberry sorbet
6) Entree: Ginger-marinated pork loin on roast sweet potatoes and apples with an apple/ginger pan sauce
7) Salad: Spinach and walnut salad with apples and manchego (photo missing)
8) Dessert: Apple struedel a la mode with chocolate apple sauce

Oct 19, 2008
gommista in Home Cooking

Big Night - Juneau, Alaska - October 2008

On a rainy fall evening, seven couples reunited for their second annual Big Night dinner. Seven courses cooked by seven of the best chefs in Juneau, each paired with a special wine. This year, there was an "Iron Chef" theme and each dish had to include apple. Attached are photos of the first four courses:

1) Amuse Bouche: Apple confit with gorgonzola foam, homemade bacon and port reduction on a toast point
2) Appetizer: Trio of apple-smoked prawn/scallop mouse, smoked prawn, and terrine of smoked seafood
3) Soup: Hefeweissen, apple, and blue cheese soup
4) Pasta: Risotto of apple, cheese, and dungeness crab

Oct 19, 2008
gommista in Home Cooking

apple intermezzo

I am making an intermezzo for a 7-course dinner with friends. Each course has to contain apples (a la iron chef). Any ideas for an apple intermezzo? I was thinking about a crabapple-highbush cranberry (a wild berry here in Alaska) sorbet.

Sep 25, 2008
gommista in Home Cooking