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Momofuku Chicken Wings

My only issue with this recipe is that at Momofuku these are smoked, and that really "makes" them. No smoke here. You can buy one of those stovetop smokers, I guess, since that is what they use at Momofuku, although I would like to know exactly how to "cold smoke" them before grilling....

Oct 21, 2009
bengoshi in Recipes

Mystery cazuela / is it safe to cook in?

Amazing coincidence. Over the weekend I pulled some Cazuelas off the shelf of our beach house -- old line family house, they must have been there for many years. They too had a round "IDG" symbol imprinted on bottom. Worried about lead, I bought a lead test kit (get one, any hardware store) and tested. No lead (but test yours to be sure and let me know if you get the same result).

I cooked in them with good results (using Paula Wolfert's new book on Ceramic Pot cooking). I found your post after googling "IDG" to see if I could find out more about these. No luck!

Oct 14, 2009
bengoshi in Cookware

The Runway Model of Chickens

Mass market? Well, I guess Poulet de Bresse would be considered "mass market" in France, too, as they raise thousands and send them all over Europe. That does not mean its not one of the best damn chickens in the world.

Lets give some credit where credit is due: Going against mainstream marketing rules, Pollo Rosso took a European heritage bird - with less breast size and more "gamey" flavor - and spent alot of money raising it and putting it on the market. Many Americans wont even "get it" its so different than what we are used to here.

Me, I'm glad its been made available as up until now there has generally been no bird of this type (Euro) with this type of flavor on the market. And BTW, I've had many "farmers market" birds (Union Square NY, etc.) and while good they are a different animal -- literally. More "juicy white meat" to Pollo Rosso's gamey, toothsome flavorful meat.

Wolfie, from your post it does not look like you have actually tasted one; if you have ever had a bird in europe, and understand the qualitative difference from those here, you will not be dissappointed.

And not everthing "mass market" is so bad; think 'Tabasco" or San Marzano tomatoes, mass produced and canned, yes, but indespensible; we are talking food here, not religion.

May 17, 2008
bengoshi in Features

Samgyeopsal (aka Korean bacon)

its always here, or at any H-Mart in the tri-state area

Apr 19, 2008
bengoshi in General Topics

Samgyeopsal (aka Korean bacon)

Go to the Heritage Foods USA Website and get some Heritage Pork, Pork Belly. I have a large slab. That is the best source

Apr 09, 2008
bengoshi in General Topics

Dinner for 8 in Chelsea or UWS?

Cookshop, part of the Five Points group. Great wine list, rotisserie, can handle a crowd.

Apr 09, 2008
bengoshi in Manhattan

Pasta cooked 'al dente', am I the only one who doesn't like it that way?

Sorry, original poster, but I think your affinity for over-cooked pasta just comes from being raised in America where that's (unfortunately) how its served. Me, I always ask for it al dente and rarely does the restaurant get it right. Usually overcooked. (the al dente "rule" goes for pasta asciutta; dried, not fresca, fresh)

I cant say I understand why you would prefer mushy pasta; pasta has to have "bite" for texture and to make a sophisticated dish; I can't imagine Pasta Carbonara "mushy"; blech.

Mar 14, 2008
bengoshi in General Topics

soba koh - disappointing

Honto! I have only had great Soba at Soba-koh (and Sake too) . Closest in US I have had to real soba places like Yabusoba in Kanda. I agree, some Gaijin may not understand real handmade soba does break up when hot,

(BTW, I have always been disappointed with Soba-ya and was so happy when Soba-koh came on the scene)

But please dont let me convince you to go to Soba-koh. Its too crowded there already....

Feb 24, 2008
bengoshi in Manhattan

Weird or Secret Ingredients?

Damn, you beat me to this anchovy idea. Here's another: Marscapone with Anchovies makes a great spread for bread or crackers and your guests wont figure out either ingredient since it tastes neither like anchovies or marscapone.

This is popular in Friulli region of italy; Google around for the recipe, but its a simple mix of marscapone, mashed anchovy filets, mustard and spices.

Feb 23, 2008
bengoshi in Home Cooking

Rhode Island Lobster/Seafood Sources

Cant speak to Providence, but Champlins in Galilee is great, and I think there is a branch in Wickford, closer to Providence.

Online Spice Stores You Trust??

third to Kalustyans which is a lot more than a spice store. The home made mango chutney and preserved lemons are awesome, as are the real deal Persian pistachios -- once you tasted those you can't eat californian (go for the "extra salt" version). How lucky am I to work just a few blocks from the store...

Feb 23, 2008
bengoshi in General Topics

introducing a toddler to pizza near Washington Square Village.?

Im going to go counter to all the suggestions here (although I love Joes and HATE Rays' - no one should ever step foot in Rays, what a joke and my name is RAY). Check Piola on 12th between University and Broadway. Real ITALIANS making Pizza, from ITALY. Imagine that. Great pies and my 6 year old loves it. Damn good Gnochii too. Just like my Grandma's...

Feb 09, 2008
bengoshi in Manhattan

Has anybody cooked with a Pollo Rosso chicken?

If you go to the Pollo Rosso website, its suggested they be cooked lower and slower. I think thats a good idea and thats why I went with a low braise, then roast, rather than an all out roast.

Superior? Well, its different. I really like Bell & Evans. These are really Euro birds. If you have ever had a chicken in Europe they have real flavor; Poulet de Bresse being the king of the birds. You can smell the difference when you fry one for a fricassee (a good way to use these)

Its a bit "gamier" than a Bell & Evans chicken -- in a good way. This is how chicken tasted _before_ all the flavor was bred out of them. Also, beware the breast meat is smaller - another difference from the silicon boob jobs we are used to.
And as to the comment about the feather remnants, thats another return to a natural, Euro-style bird. I smiled when I saw a few here and there....

Feb 02, 2008
bengoshi in General Topics

Has anybody cooked with a Pollo Rosso chicken?

A sexy long lean European bird indeed. Like a Poulet de Bresse. Its grown using the "Label Rouge" method for the famous French bird. And like those in Europe, this baby has _flavor_ and bite. Its not a mealy white-meat-dominated bird grown for the supermarket isle. (thus, the white meat is less, but tastier).

I cooked one low and slow (as they advise), braising a whole bird in a variation on a Molly Steven's recipe. Onions, majoram and two blood orange quarters into the cavity; then into a Staub cast iron pot with a 1/4 inch mixture of chicken broth and the rest of the blood orange squeezed. Cooked for 40 minutes covered in a 325 oven. Then open, baste and let roast the remaining 25 minutes or so. Delicioso.

I hope everyone checks these birds out. We need more birds like this in the US; the Euro is too expensive for me to fly there to get real chicken flavor.

Jan 28, 2008
bengoshi in General Topics

Need Great Sushi with a Nice Ambience in Murry Hill

In Murray Hill, you are going to get Gaijin (Chinese or Korean run) sushi palces. Real Nihin-jin sushi yo hve to go to midtown or downtown

Sushi Sen Nin on 33rd between Park and Mad is pretty good (they use "Haiga" rice for the nigiri and the fish is fresh). They have Yakitori also. My only issue is that the (Chinese) waiters push way to hard to run up your bill. Not a Japanese experience. But the sushi is fresh and creative and the atmosphere is good.

Oct 27, 2007
bengoshi in Manhattan

What to do with Tuna packed in veg oil?

BTW, once you try these out, search out the best Tuna in Oil you can find. There are pricey varieties, such as "Ventresca", althought many varieties imported from Italy and Spain are excellent.

I just came back from Spain, and one regret was that I could not bring back these beautiful large jars of tuna packed in olive oil. They were massive and the tuna looked amazing; but as much as I love Tuna in Oil, having it all over my suits etc. made it an unviable purchase.

What to do with Tuna packed in veg oil?

Being Italian, I never eat the stuff packed in water (blech).

Two ethnic options: First, Italian:
(a) Pasta al Tonno is a really easy seafood sauce: Place EVOO in pan, saute some smashed garlic (remove once golden), crush and add one can top quality plum tomatoes (San Marzano, etc.); once Marinara Sauce is cooked, add a can of Tuna in Oil, draining some of the oil (do not cook too much, you are really just heating the tuna). Serve over Linguine or Spaghetti (Its counter intuitive, but I find a pat of butter enriches this sauce). This is great for a Tuesday night when nothing is in the fridge.

b) Tuna w/Cannelini: Rinse a can of Cannelini beans (or make fresh, if you have the patience); Drain tuna and break with a fork; Add tuna to beans, then chopped parsley and EVOO. Serve with crusty bread and other antipasti


If you have ever had a "spicy tuna roll" you can make something similar with canned tuna in oil. I add wasabi, powdered or even better wet japanese pepper (if you can find it, there is a green japanese pepper paste, sold in little jars that works great). Just mix the pepper into the tuna. Serve over fresh Japanese rice or make into maki rolls.

Apr 08, 2007
bengoshi in Home Cooking

Ok..I have to get this out in 2006..I HATE TRADER JOES

Man, I gave TJ's another chance yesterday. I went with plenty of time to kill, as the lines in NY are AWFUL. Spent quality time really checking everything out. Sorry, but still a big "huh?" for me.

80 percent frozen or prepared foods. I saw people clawing at frozen salmon -- stuff I would never touch. I could get most of the other products down the block in NY, without the lines or the endless hype.

I wound up getting a few steaks (ok) a frozen key lime pie (good) mindless snacks (peanut butter pretzels; choclate covered things) and a few frozen tamales/burritos. Oh, and some jarred salsa. Whoopeee. End the hype.

Feb 26, 2007
bengoshi in Chains

Food & Wine Deteriorates Into "Food TV Guide"

I'll try not to rant (per Chowhound policy), but I am really alarmed with what has been happening to Food & Wine magazine, a magazine that used to have a serious focus upon food and connoisseurship; a magazine in which the word "Wine," in the title, was not just an afterthought.

My main gripe is that Food & Wine appears to have drifted into the current inane obsession with "reality" TV shows, such as "Top Chef," and otherwise lost its meaning and focus. The latest issue, touting "secrets of the hottest TV chefs" on its cover, was the icing-on-the-cake and caused me to cancel my subscription. There is not a single article in that issue I care to read. Maybe its just me, but I just have no interest in what the latest winner of a reality TV food-fight thinks about food, or anything else. (And an Al Roker recipe on the cover? He's a TV Weatherman!).

What's weird is that Food & Wine jumped right from the top of serious food magazines to the very bottom -- passing all of the "food porn" magazines, on the way down, and going right for the mass Food Network audience. I am sure that Food & Wine's marketing experts tell them that this is the way to go, to "grab eyeballs" at the supermarket check-out. But in the process, I think they risk loosing their core audience.

In my cancellation letter, I suggested they change the name of the magazine to what it has become: "Food TV Guide." I hope I am wrong, and they regain their focus, but I'm afraid this "Paris Hilton-ization" of cuisine is here to stay and just getting stronger.

Feb 24, 2007
bengoshi in Food Media & News

Moving to NY. Suggestions on where to reside based on chow?

Union Square -- its the Gourmet Ghetto.

Markets: Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Garden of Eden, Jefferson Market, Citerella and Japanese Sunrise Market (real close) and of course the Union Square Farmers Market (reason enough alone).

Restaurants: Union Square, Craft, Tocqueville, Fleur du Sel, Casa Mono, Otto, etc etc etc. Thats on the pricey side, but its very close to East Village, for great cheap eats, such as the ramen at Momofuko, and the West Village, ditto.

How does anyone live uptown?

Feb 06, 2007
bengoshi in Manhattan

What is your favorite Cooking Magazine

Fine Cooking is a serious cooks magazine - it teaches technique, not just hype about the latest celebu-chef. And Molly Stevens is an editor, author of one of the best technique books out there, All About Braising.

I used to like Food & Wine, as it had a good concentration on wine. But they started doing aritcles on Bravo's Top Chef, or whatever the heck that reality garbage is called. Please, lets just keep it to the food and wine -- good food is so great, without having to Paris Hilton it all up.

Feb 06, 2007
bengoshi in Food Media & News

What is your favorite Cooking Magazine

Agreed! "We tried baking it upside down, with a three quarter turn, and some tasters thought it tasted flat. So we baked it right side up, with a 6th of a turn, and added a little supermarket mayo, and it worked. Here is the recipe....."

Feb 06, 2007
bengoshi in Food Media & News

Any good places to eat around Madison Sqaure Garden?

Keens Chop House, get the famous mutton chop.

Its otherwise a gourmet wasteland, unless you go for some small place on 9th Ave, or Korean BBQ in Korea Town (32nd, etc)

Feb 06, 2007
bengoshi in Manhattan

Eating in Rappongi minato-ku area

Gonpachi is a tad touristy, but a little Shochu and Yuzu will make any place a blast, and Gonpachi is a blast.

Feb 04, 2007
bengoshi in Japan

How to Find Matfer and Bourgeat the Easy Way

I have purchased quite alot of Bourgeat at ebay. One Seller there, "King of Cars" (?) sells alot of it. I bought a 10 piece Professional stainless Bourgeat set for $175. One pan of that set goes for $75 retail, so quite a bargain. Same with Staub cast iron; great prices on ebay.

I'm only sharing this info as my wife has forbidden me from buying a single additional pot!

Feb 04, 2007
bengoshi in Cookware

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

For Christmas, I received several of those "collapsible" measuring cups and storage containers that are supposed to save you space. The Tupperware style "accordian" containers never pop out easily and are pretty damn useless.

I saw a bunch of these "collapsible" contraptions in Williams Sonoma today. Does a normal set of measuring cups realy take up so much space? These are all "so 2007." Five years from now we will look back at those and say: "What?"

Feb 04, 2007
bengoshi in Cookware

Opinions on the little cafe above Kalustyan's?

Mujadara! Most definitely. But lunch, not dinner.

Jan 30, 2007
bengoshi in Manhattan

Questions for seasoned Japan foodies

Most agreed about 'Cool Tools' and the shopping sources there.

Aritsuga is located in the famous "Nishiki Market" in Kyoto, Kyoto's "kitchen." I have been to Japan 14 times and only went to Nishiki on my latest trip. What a mistake; the Nishiki Market is a Must See and save your Yen for Aritsuga, there are some beautiful cooking items there.

In Tokyo, go to Kapabashi and Tsukiji.

As far as Romantic splurges, consider this: Don't just go to a restaurant, go to an Onsen -- a Japanese traditional Ryokan (Hotel) -- and bathe in Volcanic waters and relax in your Tatami room, eating the very best food on earth -- all in a "Yukata" (informal Kimono). Could anything be more romantic or "foodie"?

Most definitely worth the splurge. Check out Shuzenji Onsen, there are some great Onsen there, or Hakone, less expensive, more choice, although the food is better in Shuzenji. You can also try to get into Tawaraya Ryoken in Kyoto. Its not an Onsen, but the food is phenomenal. A difficult reservation but damn worth it (I'm a very luck boy to have stayed there)

Onsen and Ryokan can seem expensive (think $500 a night for the best, less in Hakone, etc.) But remember, that comes with a multi-course Kaiseki Ryori dinner and a breakfast that is more like a five star dinner than a bagel with a smear. Its actually a bargain, considering that a Tokyo Kaseiki Ryori meal can go for just about that, without an overnight stay, bath or breakfast.

So, save your splurge Yen for an Onsen experience. Without a doubt, one of the best foodie experiences on earth.

Jan 29, 2007
bengoshi in Japan

Best Wine Shop in nyc?

True, but they routinely discount 20% to 30% a case, so it winds up being cheaper I think. Right now USQ has a 30% promotin; I bought $400 worth and saved over a hundred.

BTW, a great buy at USQ is the Le Clerc Briant Champagne. Great Champagne, real Champagne, for a small price. ($23bottle? Cant remember)

Jan 25, 2007
bengoshi in Manhattan

Recommendations for Kyoto and Osaka Sushi Experience

Cant help you there, but I would be remiss if I did not warn you that in Kyoto you MUST see Nishiki Market. The food stalls there are astounding. A foodie heaven. And the knife/cooking shop there is superb; I want everyhting. ii desu ne.

Jan 25, 2007
bengoshi in Japan