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David Borkin's Profile

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The Joy of Animal Fat

A common pub snack in the UK is pork scratchings, which are bits of pork fat/rind rendered down till they are really crunchy and served cold, lightly salted.
Muy Mum used to make a kosher version, using chicken trimmings. Not only did they taste delicious (so sweet) but the name was great too - ubergelebenegibbener.

Jan 05, 2012
David Borkin in Features

Borough Market [London]

Waitrose in Sunningdale usually has challah. I'd be surpised if Weybridge didn't too.

Jun 24, 2010
David Borkin in U.K./Ireland

What do I need for Christmas? What amazing doodad don't I have that I must?

If you didn't get given it, buy it for yourself - a pineapple corer.
Of all the "gadgets" I've seen and tried it is the only one that really does a quicker and cleaner job than I do manually. And it leaves the shell intact for a presentation dish.

Mar 22, 2010
David Borkin in Cookware

Must have!

You have knives - how do plan to keep them sharp?
Get a good steel. Buy it via your butcher and ask him to show you how to use it. That way you'll get professional quality at trade (+ a bit) price, and a free lesson too.
Use it every - yes every - time you take a knife out.

Mar 22, 2010
David Borkin in Cookware

Boulogne/Calais - looking for lunch

A little late, but:
If you have a car, drive down to Etaples and try "Aux pecheurs d'Etaples". It is in the centre of the harbour. The local fishermen bring their catches in to sell at the cooperative fish market, and over the market is the restaurant. Straight from the boat onto your plate. It is about 45 minutes max away from the ferry.
If you want to stay in Calais I'd recommend Histoire Ancienne for a bistro, or Channel for seafood. Both 5 mins from the ferrry terminal.

Mar 22, 2010
David Borkin in France

This Food Is Offal!

If you ever go to Rome, you must try Checchino dal 1887. Its a restaurant next to the old meat market, and specialises in what the Italians call "the fifth quarter".
Their Pajata (calves intestines) is amazing. They use the small intestine from un-weaned calves, which still hold some of the mothers milk. This milk coagulates when cooked and adds a lovely creamyness to the sauce.
As for why eat offal; I agree with most of the other commentators - its the texture that grabs you. Whetyher its the creamyness of goose liver, the chew of trip (or the slither of long-stewed tripe) - I love it.!

Jul 31, 2009
David Borkin in General Topics

What is your favorite rhubarb recipe?

Cooked in a soft suet roll, and served with a sweet white sauce with lots of nutmeg in it.
A favouriite from my school days. The rhubarb flavour is full-on, with the sharpness balanced by the white sauce. And of course, being a British pud, there's the artery-clogging suet sponge to give it some body.
You can get a recipe from the BBC website:

May 29, 2009
David Borkin in Home Cooking

Cauliflower? Ummm... Yummmm!

I usually do this with brocolli (it's sweeter) but it would work with cauliflower too.
Grind a couple of cloves of garlic with a teaspoon corriander seeds in a mortar and pestle, then add enough olive oil to the mix to let you coat your florets. Then roast till it starts to brown.

Another twist on cauliflower is British picalilli. It is more yellow (turmeric and mustard) then the American version and is more chunk cauliflower and baby onions (as opposed to gherkins like the American style).

Finally...try roasting it with curry powder like Dan G says, then zap it with a blender and add a bit of stock for a cracking soup.

Feb 06, 2009
David Borkin in Home Cooking

How to make thicker chili?

Mashing a few beans is good and doesn't change the flavour, but I add paprika to thicken mine.
It might not be traditional, but it works well and adds some body to the flavour as well as the texture.
You can also experiment with a bit of smoked paprika too if you fancy a change (or hot paprika if you like like it extra fiery)

Nov 06, 2008
David Borkin in Home Cooking

Kale-What Do YOU Do?

Kale is not only tasty but also has more iron than spinach (eat your heart out Popeye!).
Cook it quickly to retain the goodness. Just steam or boil it, with carraway seeds.
The carraway seeds (not too many) are a good addition to any brassica.

A spicier version is to shred it, boil it with small pasta (troffiette are good) so it ends up 2/3 kale to 1/3 pasta. Meanwhile warm a little diced chilli in some olive oil and add then drained kale and a little lemon juice.

Apr 25, 2008
David Borkin in Home Cooking

hotel eden restaurant in rome?

Just like juilletdix says, it is very expensive, but my wife rates it as her most memorable meal ever. The food is very good but it is the location, and service which really makes it. Excellent attention to detail, perfectly pitched to deliver all everything you need without being intrusive. I had told them when booking that it was my wife's birthday. There were no sprkloers or singing waiters, just a delicately iced "Happy Birthday" around her a-la-carte desert.
It is the only place I have been where the waiter brings a small table beside the women diners,for their handbag.

Nov 01, 2006
David Borkin in Italy